Once Again Alonso and the Baby Mets Lead the Mets to Victory By Rich Coutinho/TheNYExtra.com
It has been a week of amazing comebacks for the Mets and on Friday Night they won their third game in a row defeating the Guardians 10-9 in 10 innings. And once again it was Pete Alonso combined with as Francisco Lindor calls the trio of Brett Baty, Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos–The Baby Mets– that led this team to a dramatic victory.
Carlos Carrasco struggled in his return to the mound as he gave up 5 runs putting the Mets in an early 5-0 deficit. But those Baby Mets started the road back as Francisco Alvarez hit a solo homer and coupled with a Brett Baty shot in the sixth inning put that lead down to 5-3. And then in the 7th inning the Mets loaded the bases for Pete Alonso who smashed a game-tying grand slam homer to right center. Alonso became only the third Met in history to hit a game-tying grand slam joining Todd Hundley and Carl Everett on that list.
As amazing as all of those sounds, the Mets needed to execute one final rally after the Guardians scored two in the top of the 10th inning off Drew Smith. And it was those Baby Mets at it again with the help of some of their friends. Mark Vientos lined an RBI single scoring Brett Baty to cut the deficit to 9-8 and then pinch runner Eduardo Escobar stole second base. and down to the last out, Francisco Alvarez grounded an RBI single to tie the game. He proceeded to take second base on a fielding error and moved to third base as the winning run.
And up stepped Francisco Lindor who cracked a game winning single to beat his former team who had given the ball to the best closer in the junior circuit, Emmanuel Clase This contest has more turns than a country road as this week continues to remind us all of the way this team won games last season. The long ball is certainly a huge factor as Pete Alonso has 17 homers and 41 RBI. He has gone yard in 4 straight games and has now tied Lucas Duda with 71 Homers at Citi. The next time he homers he will stand alone on that list.
But it is more than just the home runs as this team is carving out big innings because players are not afraid of taking a walk to pass the baton to the next player. And Buck Showalter says it best when he calls his trio of young Mets-Baty, Vientos and Alvarez–“young players with an It factor. I think what he means by that is they are not afraid in big spots. In fact, they relish the challenge.
Twice this week, Alvarez has delivered a game tying hit with the Mets down to their final out which is mind boggling when you consider he is a 21-year-old youngster but he has the work ethic of a veteran and performs in those moments like he expects results. The Mets got back to the .500 mark with this win and I know that is not the season goal but is an important barrier to hurdle. Now they can move past that mark and have a really good chance at that with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander scheduled to start the next 2 games versus the Guardians this weekend.
I really felt like I was in a 2022 echo chamber the past few days as game like this were a big part of the Met lifestyle last year. Could history be repeating itself? I do not know about that but this team has a clubhouse filled with players pulling together for one goal each day–win on that day. Nothing else matters to them and I mean every one of them feels that way. The Mets have begun the journey this week to make this year a special summer. And even a Hollywood scriptwriter could not have envisioned such a myriad of storylines we have seen in Flushing this week.
I told Francisco Lindor after the game that weeks like this define baseball as the best sport because you can not run the clock out. He nodded in agreement with me telling me that I hit the nail on the head.