Alonso's first career HR an EPIC blast

Top prospect seals Mets' win over Marlins

April 2nd, 2019

MIAMI -- What’s the recipe to celebrate one’s first Major League homer?

In the case of Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, add a couple of eggs, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, beer, shaving cream -- and perhaps a dash of ketchup, mustard and relish.

Alonso recorded the career milestone during the decisive four-run ninth inning as the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-3, on Monday night at Marlins Park. Afterwards in the visiting clubhouse, Alonso’s teammates showered him with whatever they could find in the kitchen.

“That was really cool,” said Alonso, who was told to take off his jersey, cleats and cap for laundry purposes. “I’ve never had that before. I didn’t know that was a thing until they told me to hop in the shopping cart and just pour whatever the hell they could on me. That was fun.”

The 24-year-old Alonso, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Mets’ top prospect (No. 50 overall), jumped on a first-pitch, 95.3 mph fastball from Drew Steckenrider and sent it over the center-field wall.

According to Statcast, the three-run homer had a projected distance of 444 feet, with a launch angle of 21 degrees and a 112.8 mph exit velocity -- the seventh-highest for a Mets player since Statcast began tracking in 2015.

“It's different,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of Alonso’s raw power. “When he hits balls like that -- whether they hit off the fence because they’re not high enough to get over or they go over the fence -- watch the fielders. They all kind of just stand there like, ‘What’s that going to do?'

“It’s a line drive, and next thing you know, it’s over everybody's head. Everybody freezes because that's what you're taught in baseball: Freeze on a line drive. It's really incredible. There’s just true raw power there, and it's mostly like line drives. It's crazy.”

The four-run rally started when pinch-hitter Dominic Smith, Alonso’s backup at first base, beat the shift with a single. Juan Lagares, trying to bunt him over, then reached on a hit-by-pitch when home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook said he didn’t offer. A replay review upheld the call. After Brandon Nimmo struck out, Amed Rosario produced the go-ahead RBI single to set the stage for Alonso’s theatrics.

“It was awesome. I kind of had a rough go the first four ABs,” said Alonso, who will put the home run ball next to his first hit ball in a secret location. “To step up like that and help my team, that was really fun. It was really cool. That home run -- it was one swing on my part, but we had a hell of an inning. Everyone was putting together really good at-bats ahead of time. ... It was just a really good approach tonight at the plate. We hung in there, stuck it out, and we got the win.”

Lagares -- who homered for the first time since Sept. 7, 2017 to knot the game at 3 in the seventh inning -- said that third-base coach Gary DiSarcina predicted Alonso’s blast.

“We called that home run from third base,” said Lagares, who received X-rays on his right index finger following the hit-by-pitch; the results came back negative. “We just said, 'He's probably going to hit the first one right here.' He will just do it right there.”

Through the season’s first four games, Alonso is 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs. Prior to the long ball, he had been hitless in four at-bats on the night.

His success has carried over from last year’s 2018 campaign between two Minor League levels (.285/.395/.579 with 31 doubles, one triple, 36 homers and 119 RBIs) and Spring Training (.368/.394/.647 with five doubles, one triple, four homers and 11 RBIs).

Any reason as to why Alonso has been able to avoid scuffling early on and make the transition so quickly to the Majors?

“I think for the same reason everybody was wondering if we were going to start him on the team or not, because he's really fricking good,” Callaway said. “That’s something other teams probably weren’t willing to do. We understand he's one of our best players, and we wanted him on the team.”