MIAMI — A booming “M-V-P” chant broke out in the top of the eighth inning at loanDepot park on Saturday. But it wasn’t aimed at any of the Marlins’ players. It was for Pete Alonso, who had just notched his second home run of the game.
It wasn’t surprising to Marlins manager Don Mattingly that Alonso went yard so early, nor that Lindor has four hits against Miami in the past two days.
“That’s why they’re where they’re at right now,” Mattingly said. “Lindor’s swinging the bat good, he’s driving in runs — really their big boys have hurt us these [past] two games. Lindor had a big game yesterday. Pete has a big game today; he’s dangerous. We’re not the only team he’s driving in runs against. He’s got to be close to 70 [RBIs], right? He’s hurting a lot of people.”
Mattingly is right. Alonso handily leads the Majors in RBIs (68), and after Saturday’s 2-for-4, two-homer affair, he is two RBIs shy of 70 in just 72 games. With his current pace, Alonso is set to break the Mets’ record for most RBIs in the first half (74, set by David Wright in 2006). He’s already become the third player in team history to record 60-plus RBIs before the All-Star break in multiple seasons, joining Carlos Beltrán (‘06, ‘08) and Wright (‘06, ‘08 and ‘10).
Alonso entered Saturday 0-for-12 in his career vs. Marlins starter Trevor Rogers, including a pair of strikeouts from merely five days prior. But what Alonso had trouble doing in years prior, he had no problem with on Saturday: He knew Rogers’ release point and was able to see the ball better than he previously had vs. the southpaw.
The first baseman put that knowledge to use in the second, roping an opposite-field homer 346 feet to right field. The long ball marked the shortest homer of his career, eclipsing the 353-foot…