Mets’ Pete Alonso drilled in face, exits against Nationals

0
18

WASHINGTON — For better or worse, no one got dirtier than Pete Alonso. The brawny slugger played a smashmouth brand of baseball Thursday night against the Nationals that ended with the area around his mouth getting smashed. 

The only result that likely mattered to the first baseman and the Mets was their 5-1 victory at Nationals Park, a successful Opening Day and one that featured plenty of action, good, bad and ugly, from Alonso. 

But it ended with the ugly. In the ninth inning, Washington’s Mason Thompson drilled him with a 94-mph fastball that appeared to bounce off his face guard and hit him in the face. Alonso was down for several moments, took a couple of steps toward first base, then listened to manager Buck Showalter and left the game with a trainer. 

Before the ugly, Alonso was part of a few strange plays, the most memorable when he tried but failed to score from first on a fourth-inning double to the wall in left-center by Eduardo Escobar. 

Pete Alonso is hit in the face by a pitch during the Mets’ win over the Nationals.
Corey Sipkin
Pete Alonso lies on the ground after being hit by a pitch during the Mets' win over the Nationals.
Pete Alonso lies on the ground after being hit by a pitch during the Mets’ win over the Nationals.
Corey Sipkin
Pete Alonso spit out blood after getting plunked in the face.
Pete Alonso spit out blood after getting plunked in the face.
AP
Pete Alonso is helped off the field.
Pete Alonso is helped off the field.
Corey Sipkin

Alonso, not gifted with speed, chugged around second and third, where he appeared to slip, but kept hobbling toward home. Meanwhile, Victor Robles chased down the ball and lobbed it in to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who perfectly twirled and threw a strike that nailed Alonso at the plate, keeping the game scoreless. 

Alonso, who asked for a review that was upheld, had a rough time with Escobar all game. 

In the third inning, James McCann appeared to gun down Escobar at first base on a pickoff, throwing behind the former Royal. Alonso caught the throw and lunged to where Escobar should have been. But Escobar was so far off the bag that he had time to elude the tag from a sprawling Alonso. He originally was called out, but replay review showed he angled his body around Alonso’s glove. 

What might have been a thoroughly frustrating season opener for Alonso turned in the sixth inning, when his second single of the night — a looper to right — started a rally. He moved to second on a wild pitch, then was sprinting around third again on a Mark Canha single to center. The ball was hit softly enough that there was no throw home, so the (literally) dirtiest player in the game didn’t get any dirtier. 

Pete Alonso is thrown out at the plate.
Pete Alonso is thrown out at the plate.
Corey Sipkin

Alonso couldn’t add to his damage with a double-play grounder in the seventh and finished 2-for-4 with the hit by pitch and a run scored. 

In what was a largely disappointing 2021 season for the Mets, Alonso was a rare constant. He slammed 37 home runs, and while a far cry from the 53 he had launched in his rookie season, Alonso’s bat often kept the Mets afloat. 

“The 2022 season starts today. The end goal is to live the dream of being the last team standing,” Alonso wrote on social media before the win. 

On the first night of the campaign, the Mets were still upright — even if Alonso was well-acquainted with the dirt.

Credit: Source link