ANAHEIM – The National League home run leader has returned.
Pete Alonso was sidelined for just one game after getting drilled on his right hand by a Yu Darvish fastball on Tuesday at Petco Park. Alonso missed Wednesday’s series finale against the Padres, which was the first time this season he was out of the lineup. The Mets slugger returned to first base, batting cleanup, for the Mets’ series opener against the Angels on Friday night at Angels Stadium.
Starling Marte, dealing with left quad tightness, was not in Friday’s lineup. But the Mets remain optimistic that he can avoid the injured list. The Mets right fielder participated in running drills and batting practice on Friday at Angels Stadium.
The Mets benefited from their day off Thursday, their only break on their 10-game, 11-day road trip to Southern California, by allowing Alonso to rest his hand in time for his Friday return. After the first baseman tested out his grip on the bat pregame Friday, the Mets decided he was ready to start smashing baseballs again. Alonso entered Friday tied with Mookie Betts and Kyle Schwarber for the most home runs (16) in the National League.
Alonso said earlier this year that his intention was to play the full 162-game season, and he was on his way to accomplishing that goal when he played all 58 of the Mets’ games this year leading up to the hit by pitch. Even though his 151-game streak, dating back to last season, was snapped on Wednesday, Alonso looked on the bright side.
“I still feel like I’ll play more than 162 games because we got the playoffs coming up — if we earn that right,” the first baseman said on Wednesday at Petco Park. “I want to be prepared for the long haul and play all the way through October. The math will probably add up to more than 162.”
As it turned out, Alonso only missed one game before bouncing right back. That’s been the theme for the Mets slugger this season from the moment he walked into Clover Park in Port St. Lucie for Mets spring training this March.
Alonso got into a harrowing car crash on his way to Mets camp, but he somehow sustained no injuries even after the first baseman’s Ford pickup truck was t-boned by another driver. Alonso was also hit by a pitch that cracked his helmet by the Cardinals in late May, but he passed concussion protocol and was back in the lineup the next day.