Sunday, September 3, 2023

Alonso & Lindor Reach Major Mets Milestones

Pete Alonso connecting on his 41st home run of the season on Sunday afternoon. Photo by Jason Schott.

Alonso and Seattle pitcher Trent Thornton react to No. 41 as it hits the seats. Photo by Jason Schott.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso hit his 40th and 41st home runs of the season on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, as he led the Mets to a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners, in which they took two of three in the weekend series.

Alonso also got his 100th RBI on Sunday, as he drove in four RBI, and it's the third time in his career he has hit the 40 home run and 100-RBI plateaus, which brought with the milestone a lot of history.

Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor also made some history in Saturday night's game, in which the Mets lost a hard-fought battle, 8-7. He hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, which was his 25th of the season, and he joined the exclusive 25-25-25 club in Mets history, as he has hit those plateaus in homers, doubles, and stolen bases this season.

ALONSO: On Sunday, Alonso started his day with a bang against Seattle starting pitcher George Kirby. He got an RBI single in the first inning, as Lindor, who reached earlier in the inning on an error by second baseman Josh Rojas, came around to score from first base to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Then, in the third, Alonso crushed one to left field for No. 40, a two-run shot that put the Mets up, 4-0.

Pete Alonso being greeted by Daniel Vogelbach on his way back to the dugout after blasting No. 40. Photo by Jason Schott.

After striking out in the fifth against former teammate Dominic Leone, he came up against Trent Thompson with one out in the seventh inning.

With anticipation in the air, Alonso blasted another one to left field for a solo home run, which gave the Mets a needed insurance run, as it made it 6-3. That was No. 41 and it also was his 100th RBI of the season.

Before we get to the superlatives of Alonso's day in the 6-3 Mets win, Tylor Megill's performance should be noted. The right-hander got the win to improve to 8-7, with a 5.28 ERA (earned run average) on the season, as he went 5 1/3 innings, and allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. Adam Ottavino earned his eighth save of the season, in which he pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out the side.

For Alonso, this was the third season he has had 40 home runs and 100 RBI, joining his Rookie of the Year campaign and last year as ones that he hit the milestone. In 2019, he had 53 HR and 120 RBI, and last season, he hit 40 homers and drove in 131 runs. In the 60-game pandemic season in 2020, he hit 16 homers and drove in 35, and in 2021, he just missed the two marks by hitting 37 homers with 94 RBI in 152 games.

Alonso is the only player in Mets franchise history to have three seasons with 40 or more home runs. His 187 home runs since he began his Major League career in 2019 are the most in baseball. Since 2019, only two players have multiple 40-plus home run seasons, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, and only one other active player has more than three 40-plus HR campaigns, Nelson Cruz, who has four. 

In Major League Baseball history, Alonso is just the fifth player with three or more seasons of 40+ home runs in a player's first five years, along with Pirates star and Mets announcer Ralph Kiner (4), Ryan Howard of the Phillies (3), Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (3), and the Braves' Eddie Matthews (3).

Alonso is fifth in Mets history with 187 career home runs, just five behind Howard Johnson (192), and that list is headed by Darryl Strawberry (252), David Wright (242), and Mike Piazza (220).

With his 100 runs driven in this season, Alonso is just the fourth player in Mets history to record three seasons with 100 or more RBI. David Wright is the leader with five 100+ RBI campaigns, followed by Carlos Beltran and Darryl Strawberry, who had three each.

Alonso now has 480 career RBI, which is 10th-most in Mets history. He has already passed Keith Hernandez this season, and next up on the list is Cleon Jones and Jose Reyes, who are tied for eighth with 521. 

In the Major League ranks this season, Alonso is third with 41 home runs, behind Shohei Ohtani and Matt Olson, who are tied at the top with 44 apiece. Alonso's 100 RBI are now second-most in MLB, tied with Texas' Adolis Garcia, and behind Olson's 113.

LINDOR: Francisco Lindor hit his 25th home run of the season off Seattle relief pitcher Gabe Speier, a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

This was the final piece of him completing the 25-25-25 campaign, as he entered the game having already notched 29 doubles and 25 stolen bases on the season.

The Mets shortstop, now in this third year in Flushing, is now just the fifth player in Mets history to join this exclusive club.

The other four to do it are: Darryl Strawberry, in 1984, 1986, 1987, and 1988; Howard Johnson in 1989 and 1991; David Wright (2007), and Carlos Beltran (2008).

This was the second time in his career Lindor, who began his career with the Cleveland Indians (2015-20), has been a member of the 25-25-25 club, as he did it in 2018, when he hit 38 home runs, with 42 doubles, and 25 stolen bases.

Lindor is just the third shortstop in Major League Baseball history with multiple seasons of 25 homers, 25 doubles, and 25 stolen bases, along with Jimmy Rollins, the longtime Phillies shortstop who tormented the Mets, and Hanley Ramirez, who played most his career with the Marlins.

That makes a lot of sense, as shortstop was not known for being a position with offensive stars until Cal Ripken in the 1980s and the trio of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra broke the mold. 

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