Pete pens more Mets records -- by continuing to mash Phils

August 20th, 2022

PHILADELPHIA -- Pete Alonso continued his mastery of the rival Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, all while checking off another series of milestones in his young career.

The 27-year-old Alonso picked up his 100th RBI of the season in the first inning, then added his 30th homer of the year -- and 101st and 102nd RBIs -- in the third to lead the Mets to a 7-2 series-opening victory. Alonso set the tone on a night when Starling Marte stole home as part of a double steal with Francisco Lindor, who had a three-hit game, while highly touted prospect Brett Baty added some key insurance runs with a two-out two-run single in the seventh.

But this was Alonso's night.

By reaching the 100-RBI mark in New York's 120th game of the season, Alonso became the fastest player to hit the milestone in franchise history. The previous record was 122 games, shared by Carlos Beltrán (2006), Mike Piazza (2000) and Robin Ventura (1999).

"You look up there and see 100 next to his name in the middle of August, it’s impressive," manager Buck Showalter said. “Pete -- him and Francisco -- it's an honor to watch them play every day.”

This also marks the second 30-homer, 100-RBI season of Alonso's career. Along with his 53-homer, 120-RBI rookie campaign in 2019, Alonso is the first Mets player to post multiple 30-100 seasons since 2008, when David Wright (2007 and '08) and Carlos Delgado ('06 and '08) each did it.

“It's great,” Alonso said of the round numbers. “But also, I'm just trying to do the best I can to help this team win.”

He’s certainly done that against the Phillies. The Mets improved to 12-4 against their archrival this season -- and Alonso has been a big part of that success.

With his two-hit, three-RBI showing on Friday, Alonso is hitting .339 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 16 games against Philadelphia this season. To put that in perspective, those numbers would put him on pace for 60 home runs and 222 RBIs over a 162-game span.

The 22 RBIs are not only the most by any player against a single opponent across the Majors this season, but they're also tied for the most by any Mets player against one opponent. Piazza had 22 against the Phillies in 2002 and Richie Hebner had 22 against the Cardinals in 1979.

Alonso has three more games in Philadelphia to break that record, too, starting with a day-night doubleheader on Saturday.

“Every single game matters. It doesn't matter who you're playing, because in the regular season, it's all about the aggregate,” Alonso said. “But for us, it's really nice to be able to beat high-quality teams, for sure, because we're going to see high-quality teams down this stretch and hopefully in the playoffs.”

A trip to Philadelphia also proved to be all Alonso needed to snap the second-longest home run drought of his career. His third-inning blast off Aaron Nola -- Alonso's fifth career homer vs. Nola (no other player has more than three) -- ended a 14-game streak without a home run, just one shy of the career-long 15-game slump Alonso had last season from April 27-May 14.

“Smart hitter," Nola said. "I’ve faced him a lot of times, he’s seen all my pitches. He’s smart. He battles you. He doesn’t give away at-bats.”

The drought-ending homer gave Alonso his third 30-homer season in his first four years in the big leagues. Of course, the only time he didn't reach the 30-homer mark came in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, when he still managed to hit 16 in just 57 games. That's a rate that would have had him on pace to clear the 40-homer mark, let alone 30, in a full season.

It's obviously impossible to know whether Alonso would have hit 30 homers in an uninterrupted 2020 season, but it's worth noting that only one player in MLB history (Albert Pujols) hit 30 home runs in each of his first four MLB seasons.

Individual accomplishments aside, Alonso’s focus remains on helping the Mets secure their first division crown since 2015 as they make a push for their first World Series title since 1986.

“For me, I'm really happy and satisfied with my consistency so far this year,” Alonso said. “And I just want to keep being the best version of myself so I can help this team win through the rest of the season -- and hopefully throughout the playoffs.”