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Pete Alonso being denied a high-five by Jacob deGrom would be awkward if it wasn't so pure

For all intents and purposes, the "magic" that seemed to be propelling the Mets into the postseason picture just two weeks ago has all but evaporated, leaving Queens befuddled.

The team headed into Thursday night's series finale against the Cubs at Citi Field looking to snap a five-game losing streak. What started as another red-hot homestand with a sweep of the Indians devolved into a sweep at the hands of the rival Braves and two games against Chicago -- but you wouldn't know it, looking at Pete Alonso, the team's slugging first baseman.

Just a few days ago, "Polar Bear" Pete launched himself into the Mets history books with his 42nd home run of his rookie season. It's a new all-time Mets single-season record:

Alonso is a boundless ball of enthusiasm and undying confidence, and that's why it was no surprise to see him literally bouncing around the Mets dugout prior to Thursday night's game, high-fiving everybody who was willing.

Jacob deGrom, the night's starter, was not willing, though, and it led to ... this:

Now, this could have been awkward. We've all been on one side of this failed high-five attempt in our lives. Maybe at one of those super-weird "social events" in high school that everybody has to go to for "character-building," or whatever. Or maybe as adults, exchanging pleasantries with co-workers at the office.

But it wasn't awkward, and here's why.

Things can only feel "awkward" if you let them feel awkward -- and I don't think Pete Alonso is capable of that. The man exudes confidence and swagger everywhere he goes, and has a presence about him that belies his young age of just 24. This gesture, trying to get his teammates ready to go and hyped-up for the task at hand, is the stuff of a team leader.

They've lost five straight games, after all. It might be tough to be THAT excited about anything, given the losing streak and what's happened to the team in just a week's time on this homestand.

But not Pete.

As for deGrom, his refusal to do the high-five makes total sense, too, since he's a starting pitcher and they have ... routines that must be adhered to before a game. Pitching is as mental as it is physical, as far as I'm concerned.

Once the game did get going, Alonso and deGrom teamed up for a slick defensive play, which kind of looked like an in-game demonstration of a high-five carried out:

This game unraveled for the Mets, however, as deGrom's stellar outing was undone in the seventh by Victor Caratini's three-run homer. Two innings later, New York had lost, again, 4-1, for its sixth straight defeat.

But that's OK. Really, it is. The Mets may now be five games behind in the NL Wild Card chase with just 29 games to go. They may not make the postseason -- but they have Pete, the guy who hits the "reset" button each day, no matter what happened the night before. That's valuable.

And as long as he's mashing home runs and doing his best to get everybody excited every day on the field no matter what misfortune has found them, that'll pay dividends in one way or another.