Pete Alonso fails to deliver for Mets again amid ‘frustrating’ stretch


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pete Alonso is a slugger who always has fancied himself as more than that.

He drove in a majors-best 131 runs in 2022 and 118 last season not just with home runs but with timely hits and an ability to sometimes just make contact when contact is needed.

Which makes his .138 batting average with runners in scoring position this season — which was the ninth-worst among qualified hitters in MLB before Sunday’s late games — all the more surprising.

Pete Alonso continues to struggle for the Mets.
Pete Alonso continues to struggle for the Mets. AP

The ice-cold Polar Bear went to the plate five times Sunday and recorded six outs in a gut-wrenching, 7-6 loss in 10 innings to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Mets lost, in part, because Edwin Diaz allowed a game-tying homer in the ninth and, in part, because Jonny DeLuca smoked a walk-off, two-run triple, but also because they could not capitalize on enough opportunities early in the game to gain separation.

Alonso stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings.

The first time he popped up a fastball from Manuel Rodriguez, the second out of an inning in which the Mets would only score one run (because DJ Stewart worked a bases-juiced walk).

The second time, Alonso grounded a Kevin Kelly sinker into the ground for an inning-ending double play.

“It’s just frustrating not being able to come through in those situations,” said Alonso, whose power (eight homers) has been present but the finer aspects of hitting missing.

Pete Alonso celebrates his double in front of Amed Rosario of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning on May 3, 2024.
Pete Alonso celebrates his double in front of Amed Rosario of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning on May 3, 2024. Getty Images

In what is personally a critical season for the to-be free agent, Alonso is hitting just .207 with a .715 OPS. His 0-for-5 afternoon dropped him to 2-for-36 in his previous 10 games.

“He’s going through it right now,” manager Carlos Mendoza said after the Mets suffered their second series sweep of the season. “[He is] in between. It’s one of those where he’s passive with pitches in the zone that he can do damage with and then chasing, trying to do probably too much right now.”

Alonso is not the only struggling bat in the lineup, and Jeff McNeil — who went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts to drop his OPS to .621 — will have to find his stroke, too.

But Alonso is probably the most critical bat in a lineup that has generally been quiet for the first month-plus of the season.

The 29-year-old preaches process over results and puts in as much work as anyone. He realizes, though, those are not messages that fans want to hear.

“I need to be better,” Alonso said. “All the work, stuff like that preparing for the game, no one really sees that. No one really cares about that.

“People care about performance. So it’s just frustrating not to be able to come through.”

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