Pete Alonso undoubtedly will hope to put on a power display at least equal to his previous trip to San Francisco when the New York Mets open a three-game road series against the Giants on Monday night.
The Mets didn’t even board their flight to San Francisco until past midnight after a 3-hour, 48-minute game at home Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
To add two doses of insult to exhaustion, the Mets had to fly cross-country without the benefit of a day off, and they made the trip saddled with the baggage of having just been swept in three games by the Dodgers.
The first two losses came in extra innings before Sunday’s nationally televised affair ended in a 14-4 setback.
Before rushing to pack his bags, Mets manager Luis Rojas took time after the defeat to dissect his team’s current mindset.
“We got to turn the page quick,” he insisted. “We just gotta stay locked in on what’s coming and what’s going to be pressing for us. That’s the Giants. We can’t be too down. We gotta start regrouping and preparing for these guys because they’ve been playing better than the team that we just faced for the entire season. So we gotta be ready for it.”
The Giants, who have baseball’s best record, begin the week four games ahead of the Dodgers, but they must now embark on the toughest part of their schedule. Their next 19 games are all against teams either in first place or in the heart of a division or wild-card race.
That includes six meetings with the Mets, who now find themselves in third place in the NL East — 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.
San Francisco begins the stretch having won seven of eight, including 5-2 at home over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon.
Left-hander Alex Wood, who is not scheduled in the Mets series, insisted after pitching Sunday’s win that the Giants are talented enough to deal with whatever road blocks are ahead.
“We have a special group. There’s no other way to put it,” he said. “The brand of baseball that we play … it takes some mental fortitude. It’s not easy. It’s a great group of guys. There’s no doubt about it.”
Giants All-Star Kevin Gausman (11-5, 2.29 ERA) and Mets left-hander Rich Hill (6-4, 4.05) are the scheduled starters in the first matchup between the clubs since July 2019.
San Francisco won three of the four contests, however Alonso homered twice in his first visit to Oracle Park.
The two-time Home Run Derby champ has never put the ball in play against Gausman in his career, striking out twice and walking once.
That said, Gausman has never beaten the Mets in his career, going 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in four games, including three starts.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the deadline, Hill is quite familiar with the Giants, having pitched previously for the Dodgers and the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics. He’s gone 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA against San Francisco in 17 lifetime encounters.
–Field Level Media