The New York Mets stopped by Camden Yards for a quick two-game interleague set with the Baltimore Orioles. The Mets rallied from a tough blowout loss in the first game to win the second in blowout fashion themselves. After a series split, the Mets sit at 30-24 and still preside atop the NL East.
Game 1: Orioles Win 10-3
Despite two home runs from Pete Alonso, the Mets received a proper thrashing at the hands of the Orioles. Baltimore’s offense exploded for ten runs, powered by home runs by Maikel Franco and Anthony Santander. While the Mets managed to get an early lead on one of the aforementioned Alonso home runs, they coughed it up almost immediately. David Peterson, the Mets starting pitcher, only lasted 2.2 innings and gave up four runs. Robert Gsellman relieved Peterson, but he did not fare any better; he gave up another four runs over 2.1 innings.
Orioles starting pitcher Bruce Zimmerman turned in a quality start. He held the Mets to just two runs in five innings. After Zimmerman’s night ended, the Baltimore bullpen combined for four innings of one-run ball. By the fifth, the Mets would never pose any threat to the Orioles’ impending victory.
Game 2: Mets Win 14-1
The second game was like a mirror image of the first–the Mets this time got out to an early lead and never looked back. Pete Alonso hit another first-inning home run, his tenth of the year. Kevin Pillar’s three-run homer in the third blew the game wide open at 7-1. Pillar hit another home run in the eighth, and Mason Williams followed with one of his own for the Mets’ first back-to-back home runs of the season. Billy McKinney contributed to the trashing with a two-homer game of his own. Taijuan Walker continued his terrific season with a one-run, seven-inning effort while racking up nine strikeouts.
The Mets’ great effort on offense was somewhat bittersweet as it came at the expense of the former Dark Knight himself, Matt Harvey. Ron Darling even mentioned on the broadcast that he doesn’t love seeing Harvey get shelled and reminisced about when Harvey’s days were just like what Jacob deGrom‘s days are like now. Harvey’s final line was 3.0 innings, eight hits, seven earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts. His ERA is now 7.40, as he is at risk of being cut by the Orioles.
Alonso heating up is certainly a welcome sign for the Mets. The 2019 Rookie of the Year’s sophomore slump seemed to be carrying over into 2021. But with three home runs in the short two-game series with the Orioles, Alonso’s OPS has climbed up to a solid .850. His recent surge in productivity may net him his second All-Star Game appearance in his young career.
However, hitting home runs was not the only thing Alonso made headlines for during this series. In an interview on Wednesday, he stated that MLB was altering the baseballs year-to-year depending on the upcoming free-agent class. According to his theory, in 2019 because of the large upcoming class of free-agent pitchers, MLB made the balls favor the offense. Now in 2021, because of the rich upcoming class of position players, MLB made the balls favor pitchers. What he is essentially claiming is the MLB is conspiring to keep player salaries as low as possible.
The Mets are still setting the pace in the NL East. However, the Atlanta Braves are starting to round into form and are right on the Mets’ heels. The Mets are off on Thursday, but on Friday they start another series with the powerhouse San Diego Padres. This time, it will be at home.