Peter Alonso

Pete Alonso Powers Tylor Megill’s First Career Win

Steven Matz was once in this position. On the mound at Citi Field getting his first MLB hit and win. Except, those days are gone now.

Instead Matz was squaring off against the Mets. He was trying to keep Tylor Megill winless. He gave it his best shot, but he fell short.

Matz wasn’t successful for three reasons. First and foremost, Megill was really good. For the second straight start, he pitched six innings. For the second straight start, he had his best career start.

This start was far more impressive than his last. It’s not just because of the two hits and one walk while striking out five. It was because of the strength of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup.

Keep in mind, after Bo Bichette stole second in the first, no other Blue Jay would get into scoring position against Megill. Of course, there was some clutch defense.

Matz also had a strong start against his hometown team. Ironically, the only problem with his start was his start. Mets fans are all too familiar with that.

  • Matz walked Brandon Nimmo to start the first. Then, Pete Alonso hit a homer giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
  • Past that, there wasn’t any offense from either side. That wasn’t until Alonso again homered in the eighth. This one was an impressive shot to the second deck.

    This 3-0 lead stood because the Mets bullpen was strong. Seth Lugo and Trevor May each pitched a scoreless inning. Edwin Diaz, who blew three consecutive saves, would not blow this one.

    Diaz was hit hard, but they were at em balls. These meant instead of extra base hits Mets cruised to victory hete and look to continue winning.

    Game Notes: Jeff McNeil was held out of the lineup due to muscle weakness. The Mets acquired Rich Hill in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Mets Battled But Were Just Short

    Robert Stock was recalled, and he lasted all of one inning before leaving the game with an injury. That meant the New York Mets bullpen effectively needed to pitch the entire game.

    They would do that, but it would feature pitchers like Stephen Nogosek (3.0 IP), Yennsy Diaz, and Geoff Hartlieb. Somehow, despite that, this was a close ballgame.

    What did the Mets in this game more than anything with hitting with runners in scoring position. That problem reared it’s ugly head again with the Mets going 0-for-7 stranding nine runners.

    On the bright side, Pete Alonso homered again, and Luis Guillorme had a pinch hit RBI double. Brandon Nimmo made a nice recovery on a Eugenio Suarez double to nail him at third.

    On the downside, the Mets couldn’t take full advantage of their opportunities.

    In the seventh, Jonathan Villar and Dominic Smith walked to start the inning. Villar would score from second on a Joey Votto missed catch error. However, the Mets couldn’t take full advantage as Jeff McNeil hit into an inning ending double play.

    In the eighth. .Guillorme was stranded at second. Smith drew a leadoff walk in the ninth, but he wouldn’t advance.

    In the end, it was a hard fought 4-3 loss. It shouldn’t have been this close, but the pitching held up. The only issue now is can it hold up again.

    Game Notes: Jose Peraza landed on the IL with a broken ginger. Jerad Eickhoff was designated for assignment. J.D. Davis was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

    Mets Refused To Lose

    After first inning homers by Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, the Mets lead 3-0. That lead didn’t last long.

    It wasn’t Jerad Eickhoff‘s fault. Of the seven runs he allowed over his 3.2 innings, only two were earned. The four errors over the first two inning (somehow Luis Guillorme had three) didn’t help.

    After all that, the 3-0 lead became a 7-3 deficit, and it looked like Pittsburgh all over again. In actuality, it was, but it was like the series finale.

    Michael Conforto got the comeback started with a two run homer in the fourth.

    Later in the inning, Tomas Nido drove in a run. Suddenly, just like that, the gap was narrowed to 7-6. That gap would be closed the following inning when Dominic Smith homered.

    It was a brand new game, and it would stay tied into the seventh. Miguel Castro departed with one on and two out. He didn’t get out of the inning as J.D. Davis had his typical difficulty getting the ball out of his glove thereby costing the Mets of any chance to get an inning ending double play.

    Seth Lugo came on, and he was getting pinched, and he had a tick off his velocity. This led to Jonathan India walking, and Jesse Winker doubling home the go-ahead run.

    Josh Osich started the eighth, and he allowed a leadoff single to Conforto. Then, Dave Jauss, who was filling in for the suspended Luis Rojas, made a very curios decision.

    At that point, Nido had a double and an RBI. James McCann had been scuffling amidst an 0-for-11 streak. Naturally, when Jauss tabbed McCann to pinch hit for Nido, he hit a go–ahead two run homer.

    That shouldn’t been enough for a 9-8 win. The problem was for the first time in his career, Edwin Diaz would blow three straight saves.

    Part of that was Diaz walking Kyle Farmer to start the inning. The other part was Jauss unnecessarily having Diaz pitch to Winker. Predictably, Winker hit the game tying single to tie the game at 9-9.

    In extra innings, the took advantage of the dumb gimmick when McCann singled home the go-ahead run. Remarkably, the ball double tapped his bat on the singles. It was 10-9 heading into the bottom of the inning.

    With all the bullpen usage, the Mets opted for Anthony Banda for the save. It didn’t go well. Two batters into the inning, there were runners on first and second with Tyler Naquin driving home the tying run.

    After that, Jose Peraza made an impact against his former team starting the around the horn double play on Eugenio Suarez‘s grounder. He’d then get the put out on the ensuring Shogo Akiyama grounder to send the game to the 11th.

    Brandon Nimmo led off the 11th putting runners at the corners. After a poor Alonso at-bat, McNeil delivered the go-ahead single giving the Mets an 11-10 lead.

    For some reason, with Banda of all people up, the Mets put the contact play on. The end result was Nimmo getting nailed at home. Fortunately, the Mets weren’t done as Kevin Pillar and Conforto would go back-to-back.

    That 15-10 lead was enough for even Banda. Although, he did test that allowing back-to-back one out singles pulling the Reds to within 15-11.

    This led to Jauss bringing in Trevor May. Nick Castellanos gave one a ride, but it fell just short and into Conforto’s mitt. May then struck out Mike Freeman to end the game.

    With that, May saved hid second in a row and third of the season. That’s a testament to the never give up mentality of this never give up clubhouse.

    Game Notes: Mets are 177-0 all-time when scoring at least 12 runs. Johneshwy Fargas was designated for assignment. Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Syracuse. Eickhoff and Stephen Nogosek were called up.

    Seth Lugo And Edwin Diaz Implode Turning Laugher Into Misery

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have been looking like the first place team, and the New York Mets have looked like the second division club. With Tylor Megill on the mound, that changed.

    Megill never should’ve been in the majors this year, and yet, due to injuries, he’s suddenly a key part of the rotation. He very much looked like that in this start.

    He allowed no runs while pitching a career best six innings. He’d allow just six hits while striking out two. Perhaps, the more astonishing part was his walking none.

    He battled through some tricky spots. That began with Adam Frazier doubling on a pop up by J.D. Davis to lead off the first. Later in the game, Pete Alonso made an error to start some trouble for Megill.

    There were multiple situations with a runner in scoring position, but Megill showed poise getting out of the jams. Of course, it didn’t hurt Luis Guillorme was playing Gold Glove caliber defense in Francisco Lindor‘s absence.

    Guillorme helped abate Lindor landing on the IL. In addition to the great defense, he was 1-for-3 with a run, double, and a walk. He scored that run in the sixth when Travis Blankenhorn had his first career RBI hitting a pinch hit double in the seventh which just missed going out.

    It was a night the Mets offense came back to life scoring six runs. Michael Conforto‘s bat started to come alive with two doubles. Jeff McNeil had an RBI. Of the Mets 11 hits, eight were for extra bases including three homers.

    Entering the bottom of the eighth, the Mets had a 6-0 lead. It was a good thing too because Seth Lugo had a rare implosion. After allowing just five runs all year, the Pirates scored five runs in two-thirds of an inning off Lugo capped off by a Wilmer Difo pinch hit three run homer.

    Suddenly, a 6-0 laugher was a tight 6-5 game. Aaron Loup came in to relieve Lugo to face Frazier. Frazier hit a hard grounder down the line, but Alonso made a diving stop to rob Frazier of an extra base hit.

    The Mets got one of those runs back in the top of the ninth courtesy of Brandon Nimmo, who hit a solo homer to straight center increasing the Mets lead to 7-5.

    The Mets appeared to need that extra cushion with Edwin Diaz struggling in the ninth. His first pitch hit Ke’Bryan Hayes, and then he walked Bryan Reynolds on five pitches.

    After Ben Gamel chased a pitch in the dirt to strike out, Diaz hung an 0-2 slider which John Nogowski smoked towards third. Jonathan Villar, in for defense, knocked down the short hop keeping it in the infield. It saved a run, but it loaded the bases.

    What ensued was a great battle between Diaz and Gregory Polanco. At the end of the nine pitch at-bat, Diaz froze Polanco with a 3-2 slider on the corner to strike him out.

    But, it didn’t matter. On Diaz’s next pitch, Jacob Stallings took a pitch off the inside corner and hit a walk-off grand slam. Kevin Pillar did all he could in left diving into the stands, but it was all for naught.

    The Mets blew a 6-0 lead and lost 9-7. There’s no other way to put it other than admitting it’s time to panic.

    Game Notes: Jacob deGrom reportedly dealt with right forearm issues in his bullpen session.

    Mets Lose Lindor And Inexplainable Game To Pirates

    The New York Mets first game out of the break was a completely unmitigated disaster. To a certain extent, it was an embarrassment.

    Against Chad Kuhl and the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen, the Mets kept threatening and faltering. In fact, this team was 0-for-12 with RISP. That’s only part of the story.

    In three straight innings, they drew lead-off walks. They had runners on first and second three straight innings. They had eight different men in scoring position.

    Just one of them scored. It was Pete Alonso on a Jonathan Villar RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth. That wasn’t enough run support for Marcus Stroman.

    Stroman didn’t have his best stuff, and he was fighting it in more ways than one.

    His toughest inning was the second. The Pirates loaded the bases against him with one out, and then the rains came. There was roughly a half hour rain delay.

    He’d strike out Kuhl, but he’d allow a two RBI single to Adam Frazier giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. After that Ke’Bryan Hayes hit one up the middle making Stroman look like Charlie Brown. Stroman escaped the inning without any further damage.

    That damage would come later. The fifth inning would be as bizarre and damaging an inning as we’ve seen. It started with Francisco Lindor leaving with an apparent oblique injury.

    In the bottom of the inning, we’d see Stromsn retire John Nogowski to get out of a tough jam to leave the game at 2-1. Stroman celebrated, and Nogowski thought he was tougher than Stroman.

    Stroman couldn’t get to Nogowski because James McCann wouldn’t let him. We’d see Stroman bent over and run off the field. Apparently, he was alright as he back to the dugout to chirp Nogowski.

    This was all well and good, but Stroman and the Mets took the loss. The 2-1 deficit grew to 4-1 when Drew Smith and Jeurys Familia each surrendered long homers.

    It was another ugly, inexplicable, and unacceptable loss to a very bad Pirates team. They now loss three out of five to the Pirates, and worse yet, they’ve lost their best position player.

    Game Notes: Gary Thorne came back to do play-by-play with Gary Cohen on vacation. Billy McKinney was designated for assignment to make room for J.D. Davis on the roster. Luis Guillorme replaced Lindor at short.

    Jacob deGrom Avoided All-Star COVID Exposure

    New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom has skipped the All-Star Game due to his nagging injuries and to spend time with his family. It was the right decision in more ways than one.

    The first game out of the All-Star Break for Major League Baseball was supposed to be between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. That game and a subsequent game was suspended due to COVID.

    There were three Yankee players who tested positive for COVID with three more pending cases. One of those with a pending case was All-Star Aaron Judge.

    Judge’s pending case led to the recommendation the five Red Sox All-Stars undertake social distancing measures. Rafael Devers advised he could not participate in media availability and needed to take a COVID test.

    As of this moment, it would appear the positive cases are restricted to the Yankees and the concern is limited to the Yankees and Red Sox. However, that is just based on what is being reported.

    Really, we don’t know how many players have been exposed or will test positive. Part of the reason is we don’t know the level of social interaction between the players during the festivities.

    To a certain extent, there should be some concern about Taijuan Walker who pitched in the game. The same could be said for Pete Alonso and Dave Jauss, who participated in the Home Run Derby.

    The only thing we know for certain is deGrom was not exposed to anything at the All-Star Game because he wasn’t there. Hopefully, his teammates were similarly not exposed. That’s of increased importance given how the Mets are one of the least vaccinated teams in baseball.

    Mets 2021 Uniforms: Back in Black

    After the years of waiting, the New York Mets are finally bringing back the black jerseys on July 30, and they’ll be worn for all the ensuing Friday games.

    These are the jerseys Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo wore the last time the Mets captured the pennant at home. They’re the jerseys David Wright and Carlos Beltran wore the last time the Mets clinched a division at home, and they wore them again to open Citi Field.

    Now, we’re going to see current Mets greats carry on the tradition. Certainly, we should expect to see Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, and Pete Alonso accomplish similar feats to those Mets teams.

    Friday nights are the perfect time for these jerseys. By limiting it, it prevents the issue fans previously had where the regular jerseys were almost entirely phased out for the black.

    Of course, there’s also hope the Mets still embrace the blue alternates. It would be great to see Mr. Met return to the sleeve and have them worn on Family Sundays at Citi Field.

    Overall, it’s great to see the Mets bringing back a fan favorite jerseys and treating them like a special event. Hopefully, it is something which stays well past this season.

    Neon Moment Of The Week: Alonso A Yankee Doodle Dandy

    The New York Mets went to Yankee Stadium for part one of the annual Subway Series scuffling. They had lost 11 out of their past 17 games. After taking the first game, they were on the precipice of losing another game while having another frustrating day at the plate with lost opportunities.

    In the top of the seventh, which was the final inning because of Rob Manfred, Aroldis Chapman was on for the save. He had been struggling of late with the sticky substances crack down, but he got ahead of Pete Alonso, who was in a 1-for-17 stretch.

    In dramatic fashion, Alonso hit a game tying solo homer ignoring the Mets offense.

    After that homer, the Mets offense was unstoppable. Chapman completely lost it, and he set up a six run inning for the Mets. Just like that, a 5-4 loss became a 10-5 win. As an aside, this would prove to be the Mets first road series win since the May 31 – June 2 series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Alonso would go on to become the 30th player to homer in both ends of the doubleheader. After that, he’d go on to win the Home Run Derby. With the home run barrage and the sparking the Mets to victory, Alonso providing the early fireworks on the Fourth of July is the Neon Moment of the Week!

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    Alonso Is Re-Pete Home Run Derby Champion

    Each of the Home Run Derby contestants wore the number 44 in honor of the late Hank Aaron. Much like Aaron once before him, Pete Alonso once again established himself as the real home run king.

    First, Alonso knocked off Salvador Perez. Then, he squared off against Juan Soto. Alonso did so well that round, he actually used his time out solely for the purpose of hyping the crowd.

    Finally, Alonso faced Trey Mancini in the finals. The cancer survivor was a crowd favorite, and really everyone on that planet, except Mets fans, were rooting for him.

    Mancini had a great round hitting 22 homers. That just so happened to be the same amount Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit two years ago. Once again, Alonso beat that number.

    In total, Alonso hit a very nice 69 total homers. If not for his going second in his matchups against Soto and Mancini, he very likely would’ve hit more. Those homers traveled a combined 26 miles.

    With that, Alonso joins Ken Griffey, Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes as the only players to successfully defend their title. There’s every chance Alonso can and will go for the three peat, sorry three Pete, next year in Los Angeles.

    There have been many great at this event, but Alonso could be the best ever at this. Really, he’s to the Home Run Derby what Jacob deGrom is to pitching.

    Speaking of deGrom, he won the Cy Young in 2019 when Alonso won the Home Run Derby. It looks like that feat will be repeated this year. Certainly, we can also expect the Mets to have a big second half much like they had that year as well.

    Mets Hang 10 In Sixth

    For a moment, it appeared like the Mets were going to be in an unexpectedly tight game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Through five-and-a-half, the game was knotted at 2-2.

    At that point, Taijuan Walker was done after allowing two runs over five. It wasn’t his best outing by any stretch, but he did keep the Mets in the game.

    Finally, in the sixth, the Mets offense exploded against JT Brubaker and the Prates bullpen:

    With that 10 run rally, the game was blown open, and the Mets were well on their way to a 13-4 victory. Aaron Loup was the winning pitcher after pitching a scoreless sixth.

    What’s incredible to think about is even with the Mets scoring 13 runs, Nimmo, McCann, and Villar were the only players with multi-hit games. In terms of Villar, both hits were homers:

    Even though this was a laugher, the end was annoying. Nick Tropeano and Yennsy Diaz couldn’t find the zone and both allowed runs. There was also a roughly 40 minute rain delay.

    Even with that nuisance, this was a good win for a team now assured of entering the All-Star Break in first place. They can further cement that spot during this seven game stretch against the Pirates.

    Game Notes: Walker was officially named an All-Star after the game. Jacob deGrom is opting out of the game.