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PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso has hit a lot of home runs that have been far more significant than Wednesday night’s. Still, the feeling does not get old.

“That felt really nice, and hopefully more to come,” Alonso said after hitting a three-run shot in the Mets’ 5-3, 10-inning loss to the Astros at Clover Park.

Alonso statistically had started slowly in the Grapefruit League. His first dinger of the spring, a golfed swing to left, upped his line to 5-for-23 eight days before Opening Day in Washington.

Despite the very early results, which do not matter, the Mets slugger is encouraged with the way his swing is coming around and encouraged by the five walks he has drawn.

“I feel excellent,” Alonso said after taking Houston’s Adam Morgan deep, “and I feel really confident on this trajectory heading toward the season.”

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso homered for the Mets on Wednesday night.
USA TODAY Sports

Through so many variables in the Mets’ past few seasons — different hitting coaches and managers, emergences and regressions from various hitters and injuries to the pitching staff — Alonso has remained. He has not matched the 53 home runs he swatted in his rookie season of 2019, but he did knock 37 in 152 games a season ago.

Alonso said he is “fine-tuning” his timing under new hitting coach Eric Chavez and assistant hitting coach Jeremy Barnes, and he’s proud that thus far, he is swinging at the right pitches. He has believed the damage will come, and Wednesday provided some evidence.

“It’s a tired saying, but trusting the process is a big thing. I know who I am as a player,” said Alonso, who has crushed 106 homers in three seasons, which included the shortened one in 2020. “Knowing that if I swing at a good pitch and connect with it well, it has the potential to go pretty far.”

It has been an emotional spring training for Alonso, who endured a “brutal” car accident two weeks ago. Alonso said his vehicle flipped multiple times after a driver ran a red light and “T-boned” him. He came away OK and “really thankful to be alive.”

In the days since, Alonso has played more baseball than just about anyone, leading the Mets with 23 Grapefruit League at-bats. He talked about becoming a better overall player “to put this team over the top,” referencing taking the extra base and improving his defense.

More homers will help, too.

“I was talking to [Chavez], and he did think [Alonso] was getting close,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You could tell he felt good about it.”

Source: NYPOST

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