WASHINGTON -- Blood ran off Pete Alonso’s lip, concerning all around him, but the scene looked worse than it ultimately was. Alonso had just been struck on the left shoulder with a 95-mph fastball, which ricocheted from there into the faceguard of his helmet. The impact bruised Alonso’s bottom lip, which was swollen after the game.
That was the worst of it. For that, the Mets were thankful.
“All good,” Alonso said after being hit in the Mets’ 5-1 Opening Day win over the Nationals on Thursday. “Just a busted lip, that’s it. Got all my teeth, no concussion. All good.”
Alonso was batting in the ninth inning when Mason Thompson's pitch careened up and in, striking him on the shoulder. He immediately fell to the ground and put his hands to his mouth, checking for lost teeth. But Alonso quickly clambered to his feet and attempted to move toward first base, before manager Buck Showalter stopped him. Dominic Smith replaced Alonso on the bases as he went through concussion protocol.
Not long after, Alonso was back in the dugout icing his lip.
“He’s going to have some sexy lips for a couple of days,” Showalter said.
Alonso, who was also involved in a car crash on his drive to Spring Training last month, can deal with a bruise. So can the Mets, knowing their slugging first baseman is all right.
Of greater concern in the postgame clubhouse was the Nationals' pitching staff, which plunked three Mets batters in the game -- James McCann twice and Alonso once. Outfielder Starling Marte in particular appeared upset, standing at the top of the visiting dugout and yelling across the field at the Nats.
Across the way, manager Dave Martinez acknowledged that he “didn’t like the three batters hit with two strikes, that’s for sure.” He noted also that he planned to call Showalter to “see how Alonso’s doing.”
When asked if he believed there was intent behind any of the three hit batsmen, Showalter demurred.
“I’m not going to get into intent,” the manager said. “Whatever. You can ask me about it. That’s the way it is, and nobody’s going to be happy about it. Unfortunately, it happens, but our guys responded well to it.”