In “MV-Pete” they trust.
Pete Alonso’s wild ride through what has been a magical Mets season to this point included another grand performance Friday night that left the Citi Field faithfully singing his praises.
The slugging first baseman had never hit a grand slam before 2022, but it’s clear this isn’t just another season for Alonso. On this night he smacked his second slam this year in leading the Mets to a 10-4 victory over the Marlins.
Alonso’s slam in the sixth, following an overturned call that might very well have been otherwise ruled a double play (if not a triple play), punctuated an inning in which the Mets felt 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs.
The blast gave Alonso 19 homers (which leads the NL) and 63 RBIs (which leads MLB). Alonso is the second fastest to 125 home runs in major league history, making it in 435 career games. Ryan Howard needed just 405 games to reach that mark. The previous second fastest was the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, in 447 games.
Alonso’s gand slam barely cleared the left-field fence at the 358 foot sign.
“It felt good off the bat, but I was just like, ‘Man, I don’t know if this is going to go over, if he’s going to catch it,’ ” Alonso said. “It was one of those ones where I took a good swing at a good pitch and didn’t know what was going to happen next.”
Told that New York’s other first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, also hit a grand slam for the Yankees on Friday, Alonso replied: “That’s sick.”
Francisco Lindor treated his mother Maria (who had never seen her son play in person at Citi Field) with a three-run homer in the first inning, the loudest hit of the night. Lindor’s family surprised the shortstop in bringing his mom, who is confined to a wheelchair after a recent health episode, to the game. Francisco and Maria embraced before the first pitch.
The Mets also received a solid performance from Carlos Carrasco, who allowed three earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over 6 ¹/₃ innings.
With the victory, the Mets moved 5 ¹/₂ games ahead of the Braves in the NL East after Atlanta had its 14-game winning streak snapped with a loss to the Cubs.
In the game-deciding sixth inning, Luis Guillorme’s long fly to left-center was ruled a catch by Bryan De La Cruz, but the Mets won a replay challenge that showed the Marlins center fielder had trapped the ball against the fence. Jeff McNeil had tagged up at second and moved to third on the play and Mark Canha had advanced to second without tagging up. At a minimum, Canha would have been called out had the play been upheld.
“I think they got [the call] right all the way around,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Fortunately we cashed it in.”
Guillorme’s long single loaded the bases and JD Davis smacked an RBI single to right that extended the Mets’ lead to 4-1 against Pablo Lopez.
Tommy Nance retired Brandon Nimmo for the second out in the sixth, but the Mets weren’t finished: Starling Marte walked to force in a run and Lindor was hit by a pitch, giving the Mets a 6-1 lead.
Alonso jumped on the first pitch and the blast just cleared the fence. Alonso circled the bases to chants of “MV-Pete” and took a curtain call from the first-base dugout.
“That was a really fun moment and I’m glad other people think that,” Alonso said. “That was really special.”
Carrasco was asked to put Alonso’s season in perspective.
“Pete? Oh my God, this guy is unbelievable,” Carrasco said. “He plays hard. [Opponents] get in trouble every time they put someone on base. I love the way he plays. He is going to have a great season.”
In the first inning, De La Cruz dropped Marte’s routine fly ball to center after Nimmo had singled leading off. Lindor followed with his 440-foot rocket to center field that left the bat at 108.2 mph, delivering three runs. The homer was Lindor’s first since June 4, three days after he fractured his right middle finger by slamming it in his hotel suite’s double doors in Los Angeles.