The Mets are living and dying with the power of Pete Alonso.
He has won 10 of Alonso’s 11 matches this season, and an 8-6 win over the Phillies on Friday night fell to a majority.
Alonso dropped his 12th homer of the year in the third inning of Bailey Falter, a two-run 400-foot shot in left field that gave the Mets a nice, breath-taking five-run advantage over their division rivals. The Mets kept adding, and they needed every insurance run, but it was Team Polar Bears who brought the party back to Citi Field to kick off the Amazons’ six-game homestand.
“I think I’m doing a little better this year,” Alonso said. “For me, it’s just going to take more time and more understanding of myself and who I am as a player. This has helped with the execution, but the plan is still the same. It’s just, get some on the dish in my area and really don’t get distracted and give it to the pitcher. I think I’ve done a really good job this year and I just want to keep going as the year goes on. ,
The Mets (30-17) were flirting with their 30th win of the season since Tuesday, during their wild back-and-forth game three hours and 50 minutes against the Giants, which went the other way. . Had they won that night, the Mets would have become the second team in MLB to hold that mark, only after the Yankees who won their 30th game on Tuesday. The Mets were the first team to reach 20 wins earlier this month.
Alonso’s home run in third was also his 400th career hit, meaning 29.5% of first baseman hits have been dingers since the 2019 rookie season. Alonso also now leads MLB with 44 RBI. Mets manager Buck Showalter said he has been impressed with Alonso’s consistency, adding that the slugger hasn’t had much of a fall in the season and that he is always a pitch away from his next home run.
“He doesn’t care about that last bat and the last game,” Showalter said. “You can get a completely different result next time. And when he gets hit, he’s trying to get one more, and he’s trying to get another one. I’m not greedy Wants to say, but he never stops pushing.
Meanwhile, the Mets lived another day to tackle their growing bullpen problem.
Carlos Carrasco pitched better than his last line suggested, as Showalter aligned him with first and second place runners in the sixth inning, and reliever Chesson Shreve provided none of it when he promptly fired Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs. Handed over a home run of three runs. The Mets began that sixth inning with a 7–0 lead, and finished the top of the frame with only a one-run lead.
“The unfortunate thing was that he didn’t hit the ball hard throughout the innings,” Showalter said.
Showalter said he took Carrasco out of the game because the right-handed batsman jammed his thumb and the captain believed his command was being affected. Carrasco later said that he had his thumb examined by the medical team, and he was fine. The pitcher wasn’t even sure how he jammed it.
All five runs scored on Carrasco came in the sixth inning, but of the four singles he allowed, none were hit harder than 84 mph with the bat. So four soft-hit base hits, two of which never left the field, and a walk for Odubel Herrera resulted in five runs on six hits in 5.2 innings and 85 pitches. Carrasco, whose ERA jumped to 3.98 after his ninth start of the year, had retired 15 of his first 18 batsmen, including seven strikeouts, before his outing went sideways in the sixth.
“I’ve been studying a lot, those guys,” said Carrasco, who faces the Phillies on Friday for the first time this season. “Last year, faced him and he got me out for two. This year we have been playing a lot with them, the way they hit, the way they approach. But today was a great day. We made the right pitch today.
Shreve, on the other hand, has struggled in five of his last six relief appearances. The lefty specialist was great to start the season for the Mets, taking a 0.74 ERA to his 11th relief appearance a few weeks ago. But he has since allowed at least one earned run in each of his last half dozen. The Mets have just one more left-handed bullpen arm in Jolie Rodriguez, and both she and Shreve have been heavily used by Showalter through the team’s first 47 games.
Without Trevor May, who is on the injured list with a triceps stress reaction for at least the next few weeks, the Mets bullpen has been forced to take the slack with varying degrees of success. Going into the 2022 season, Amazon’s relief corps was their weakest area on paper, and over a quarter of a year into the year, it remains that way.
“He’s done well for us this year,” Showalter said of Shreve. “He has had to go through some tough times here and there. What he has done for us doesn’t make me like all of them. ,
For now, the Mets reliever has recorded a 3.65 ERA overall, ranking 15th in the middle of the league. We’ve seen that bullpen arms are impressive, while also costing some games. A league-average effort means GM Billy Appler should scour the market for any acquisitions tomorrow, but it’s also an area the Mets can potentially wait to improve upon largely by the trade deadline. Is.
It helped that Edwin Diaz made his 11th save of the season on Friday by slaying the flesh of the Phillies order at Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos. Diaz’s final pitch, a 101 mph fastball delivered to Castellanos, was precisely the kind of high heat that makes him one of the game’s dirtiest close ones. According to Statcast, both his whimper and strikeout percentages are in the 100th percentile in MLB, while his second-world fastball velocity is in the 99th percentile.
“With Edwin, it’s a tough part of the lineup to go through,” Showalter said. “He was impressive tonight. I know it goes unnoticed by us. He’s tough.”