Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series couldn’t have gone much worse for Pete Alonso and the New York Mets.
In a 7-1 loss that saw Max Scherzer shelled for the worst postseason outing of his career, the Mets’ offense was anemic — a troubling trend from September carrying into October — as they left six men on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
A disappointing result toeing the line of embarrassment, certainly, and obviously there’s room for disappointment. But the Mets slugger already knew what to do ahead of Game 2 on Saturday night at Citi Field with his Mets facing elimination.
“Now we get to see what we’re made of. I’m excited for [Game 2],” Alonso said. “This is fun. It’s not great losing, it’s never fun losing especially the first game of a playoff series like this one, but this is fun baseball so I’m really excited to go tomorrow.”
The 27-year-old, who is the first Met in franchise history with multiple seasons of 40-plus round-trippers, doesn’t see any other way to view it.
“There’s really no other choice. If we were to just pack it up and go home, you can’t do that,” he said. “We have a challenge and we’re going to face it head on and we’re going to run toward it.”
They’re running right at Padres starter Blake Snell; a former Cy Young winner with the Tampa Bay Rays who hasn’t had the same amount of success against the Mets as Game 1 starter Yu Darvish. While Darvish went seven innings of one-run ball while allowing six hits after going 5-0 with a 2.86 career ERA against the Mets, Snell is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA.
Another offensive no-show like Friday night, though, and the Mets’ 101-win season is officially caput.
“We’ve bounced back all year. Not only have we been good, but we’ve had opportunities to bounce back and we’ve done that and been resilient all year,” Alonso said of his team that never lost more than three straight games. “That’s the reason why we had a really good regular season. That’s why we had 101 wins. You don’t get to that point without being resilient so I have a lot of confidence in the guys.”
That confidence only extends to Jacob deGrom, who gets the ball for his first postseason start in seven years and his first-ever Citi Field playoff start in Game 2 to help keep New York’s season alive. In 10 career starts against the Padres, deGrom is 6-3 with a 1.28 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 70.1 innings of work.
“This is what you want: Jake deGrom pitching in the playoffs and playing behind him,” Alonso said. “This is awesome.”
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