Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso heating up simultaneously is the kind of tantalizing proposition that should excite the Mets.
Now stacked as the No. 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup, Smith and Alonso helped carry the Mets during the Subway Series this past weekend, and Monday night were back to inflict damage on a new opponent.
The tandem was central to a seventh-inning rally and finished with three of the team’s RBIs in a 4-2 victory over the Brewers at Citi Field. The Mets won for the third time in four games and extended their NL East lead to 4 ½ games.
Alonso smashed a go-ahead double for two runs in the seventh after Smith had followed a Francisco Lindor leadoff walk with a single. Smith drove in the Mets’ first run of the game in the fourth.
It came after a weekend in which Alonso and Smith combined for three homers and seven RBIs, helping the Mets win two of three against the Yankees.
“We have a pretty large responsibility, but the way that [Brandon] Nimmo and [Lindor] have been getting on base, really gritty in the box, getting on base any way they can it’s really awesome,” Alonso said. “It’s great that Dom and I are doing really well right now, we’re swinging two really hot bats, but we can’t drive guys in if nobody is on base.”
The Mets reached the halfway point of the season with 44 victories. They have been in first place for 75 days, the longest stretch by any team this season.
“We’re in first place and that’s excellent, but where we are now is where we want to be at the end of 162 [games],” Alonso said. “We’ve had a lot of adversity, especially with weather, delays, COVID, so I think this team is extremely battle-tested and we’ve earned our spot, but also at the same time we can’t be complacent.”
Edwin Diaz, in his first appearance since last Tuesday, put a scare into the Mets in the ninth, allowing a run on two hits and a walk before getting the final three outs for his 18th save in 19 chances. Aaron Loup, Seth Lugo and Trevor May each pitched a scoreless inning in relief behind rookie Tylor Megill.
“This happens to [Diaz] when he spends a few days without pitching,” manager Luis Rojas said. “He just needed to pitch and find himself after three batters.”
Brandon Woodruff brought a 1.87 ERA into the game for the Brewers and faced little resistance until the seventh, when the Mets erupted for three runs. Alonso’s two-run double was the key hit in the inning. Michael Conforto later delivered an RBI single to snap an 0-for-13 drought.
“It’s the third time through the lineup,” Rojas said. “They saw all the pitches. They knew what they were looking for.”
Nimmo’s leadoff double in the fourth led to the Mets tying it 1-1. Lindor’s bunt moved Nimmo to third and Smith hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the run. Nimmo, who went 5-for-14 (.357) in the Subway Series after returning from two months on the injured list, continued to make his presence felt atop the lineup.
In the best start of his three to begin his major league career, Megill allowed one run on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over five innings. The rookie right-hander was removed after 92 pitches.
Megill was coming off a five-inning performance against the Braves in which he allowed three earned runs and struck out eight. In his major league debut a week earlier he allowed two earned runs over 4 ¹/₃ innings against the Braves.
Megill’s only blemish on this night was a 1-1 changeup that Omar Narvaez blasted for a solo homer in the fourth. The Brewers’ only other hit against Megill was Willy Adames’ two-out double in the first. Narvaez was then hit by a pitch, but Megill struck out Tyrone Taylor to escape.
“I didn’t have a lot of feel for my slider today,” Megill said. “Just a lot of fastball/changeup and it was working really well. They weren’t able to make a lot of contact with it except for one batter and it played into my hands real well.”