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NY Post
New York Post
8 Apr 2023

NextImg:Mets use Pete Alonso blast, Kodai Senga gem to beat Marlins

Next time the Marlins might want to call a meeting of more than three minds trying to figure out how to pitch to Pete Alonso.

Shortly after a controversial visit to the mound by his catcher and pitching coach, Trevor Rogers grooved a full-court change-up that the sizzling Alonso turned around for a game-breaking two-run home run in the fifth inning to back Kodai Senga’s brilliance and spark the Mets to a 5-2 victory Saturday at Citi Field.

Alonso has four home runs in his last three games and reached five for the season faster than at any other time in the prolific power start to his career.

It took just 10 games for Alonso to reach five during his record-setting 53-home run rookie season, followed by 23, 18 and 26 games over the next three seasons, respectively.

The Mets (5-4) played their ninth game Saturday, improving to 5-1 against the Marlins in front of a sellout crowd of 42,306.

Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t showing any mercy for the hapless, however.

It appeared that he argued catcher Nick Fortes visited Rogers before Mel Stottlemyre Jr. emerged from the dugout and the Marlins were trying to manipulate the 30-second timer for a trip to the mound.

No matter because all the strategy in the world doesn’t seem to help the Marlins against Alonso, who has 25 home runs in 70 career games between the rivals.

Alonso hit a two-run homer for the Mets in the fifth inning against the Marlins.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

Kodai Senga pitches during the Mets' win over the Marlins on April 8.

Kodai Senga pitches during the Mets’ win over the Marlins on April 8.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Only David Wright has more (26 in 183 career games).

Alonso has 151 career home runs in 539 games – only Ryan Howard has fared better to start a career.

Not all damage was done by hot bats.

As fan outcry for his benching fills social media for the second straight season, Eduardo Escobar went the opposite way with a two-run home run in the sixth.

Escobar, who is hitting .107 on the young season after struggling through most of his Mets’ debut last season, flexed his arms and screamed as he rounded second base.

With his work done at that point, Senga was among the biggest dugout celebrators of Escobar’s clutch hit.

New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) celebrates with shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) after recording the last out in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Senga continued his dominance at the mound and pushed his season record to 2-0 with the win.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Senga (2-0) dominated the Marlins for the second time in as many career MLB starts, scattering three hits, three walks and six strikeouts over six innings.

Any questions about how his “ghost forkball” would look were answered – albeit against a Triple-A-caliber lineup – when the Marlins failed to put any of Senga’s 16 forkballs in play (three whiffs, three foul balls, 10 takes, according to Baseball Savant).

After Jazz Chisholm Jr. reached Senga for a leadoff home run to cut the sixth-inning deficit to 3-1, the Marlins put the tying runs on base but Senga’s 90th and final pitch induced a groundout.

The Mets needed three pitchers to get through the seventh relatively unscathed: Dom Smith and Brooks Raley both allowed a hit and a walk while getting one out – the run was charged to Smith – but John Curtiss cleaned up a bases-loaded jam by retiring former World Series MVP Jorge Soler as the potential go-ahead run.

David Robertson worked a clean ninth inning for his second save.