This can no longer be considered a mini-slump or a brief hiccup in a long season.
Pete Alonso isn’t hitting, and he is headed toward the worst statistical season of his five-year, big league career.
The slugging first baseman’s numbers are down across the board and he now is in the midst of a 1-for-18 stretch that is along the lines of his woeful last three months.
“It stinks, for sure. Especially when you have a good at-bat, you capitalize on a pitch,” Alonso said after he went 1-for-3 in the Mets’ 5-1 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field. “As a hitter, you just wish you could have a magic wand, and make the ball find grass or a seat. But it doesn’t work that way.”
Alonso singled in his first trip to the plate, but followed with two hitless trips.
He grounded into a double play in the seventh.
Then, in the eighth, he threw high on what could’ve been a 3-6-3, inning-ending double play, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
“I threw it just a bit too high and that was the split-second that cost us the double play,” he said. “But I don’t regret making my decision, a throw to second, just wish I could have executed a little bit better.”
He clearly hasn’t been the same since he went on the injured list with a bone bruise and sprain in his left wrist, although the 28-year-old Alonso hasn’t used that injury as an excuse.
His struggles, it should be noted, predate Alonso getting hit on the left wrist by a Charlie Morton pitch on June 7.
Since April 22, which spans 63 games, Alonso has a slash line of .178/.286/.427. Since May 30, his OPS was a dismal .593 and he was batting .143 entering Saturday.
“The expectations come from how good and great or whatever you want to call it, he’s been,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s obviously pressing. … I keep waiting for the game to let him up, because Pete went through a period for about two weeks where his hard-hit contract was the best in baseball and his average was going down.”
Overall, his .210/.310/.490 slash line numbers would all be career-lows.
So would his .800 OPS. He’s 5-for-38 in July.
A surprise selection for the All-Star Game, Alonso took part in the Home Run Derby and played in the showcase.
He is second in the National League with 26 home runs behind Matt Olson of the Braves, the lone normal aspect of his otherwise shaky season.
Among the Mets’ many issues in what has so far been a dismal season, their woeful pitching has drawn the most headlines, from Max Scherzer’s and Justin Verlander’s underwhelming performances to the thin bullpen.
Alonso’s issues have flown mostly under the radar.
But they are getting harder to ignore, as the Mets’ cleanup hitter has been unable to snap out of this lengthy funk.