Pete Alonso drives in 5 runs as DH, Mets win series over Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — If Pete Alonso was successful, he would play first base every day. He thinks ‘the fact that I’m there helps the team the most’. But Alonso also understands the reality of the situation, which is that Mets manager Buck Showalter will often ask him to DH. Showalter have already done it twice in seven games this season.

Rather than lamenting the status quo, Alonso figured out how to own it. In his first DH start last Saturday, Alonso scored a grand slam in a Mets victory over the Nationals. He said afterwards that “the grannies are sick”. In his second DH start on Wednesday, Alonso hit a three-run homer, doubled twice and drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 9-6 victory over the Phillies in the series finale at the Citizens. Bank Park.

“They’re sick too,” Alonso said of the three-point shots. “All homers are sick.”

Alonso defined his home run down the center-right field as “a highlight in the game”, which was indisputably true. At that particular point in the sixth inning, the Mets led by four runs — two of which Alonso had brought home in doubles in the fourth and fifth innings. His home run against Seranthony Domínguez made it a seven-run margin, which proved significant as the Phillies fought back against a shaky-looking Mets bullpen.

“It was good,” said Dominic Smith, who replaced Alonso first on Wednesday. “When he stays [up the middle of the field], he’s going to be one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. That’s crazy. It’s crazy to see that, especially at the start of the year and how it helps us win baseball games. We knew what he could do, and obviously when he does it, he makes us a much better team.

It would be simple to argue that the Mets are better when Alonso is at DH and Smith is playing first base. A natural first baseman, Smith showed Gold Glove potential as a prospect and remained very capable as a pro, despite the Mets recently using him more often in left field – a position to which it’s not nearly as strong. Alonso, while much improved as a first baseman, is still prone to inelegant movements around the sack, having recently made multiple mistakes in a loss to the Nationals last Sunday.

But the Mets won’t make Alonso their daily DH for several reasons. The first is that team officials remain committed – at least for now – to giving Robinson Canó meaningful appearances at the DH. The second is that Alonso has repeatedly stated his desire to be a first baseman, not a DH. And given how valuable Alonso is to their entire operation, the Mets have a vested interest in keeping him happy.

“I’d rather be there [at first]Alonso said, “but I know Buck is writing the programming, and I know he tries to win every day. I would love to play first base every day, but Dom is also a great first baseman. … I trust Buck. I trust every programming he writes.

Unlike Smith, Alonso plays daily, whether at DH or on the pitch. He’s started all seven games for the Mets so far and has been in the lineup for 61 1/2 of the team’s 62 innings. Smith, on the other hand, only found himself in the starting lineup three times. Despite appearing in all but one Mets game, Smith received less than half the number of plate appearances as Alonso. He called the situation “a revolving door” – sometimes Showalter tells Smith he’s playing the day before a game; sometimes he knows the morning of the contest.

But Smith, who has been the subject of trade rumors throughout Spring Training, says he’s at peace with the current arrangement.

“We win ball games,” Smith said. “We are in a very good position at the moment as a team. I think it’s something we want to continue to develop. We have very big aspirations.

In many ways, first base is the least of the Mets’ worries. Much more uncertainty surrounds the rotation, which Max Scherzer boosted Wednesday with five one-run innings, and the bullpen, which produced a 5.93 ERA during the series.

Game time quibbles, as Showalter likes to say, have a way of resolving themselves. Alonso and Smith are close friends who revel in each other’s successes. The team is 5-2.

The situation seems to be working well, so who are they to complain?

“We’re in a good position right now,” Smith said. “We play really good baseball and we win a ton of games. That’s the only thing that’s on this team right now. »

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