Pete Alonso has made a promise to himself: don’t forget. Think of those empty at bats against Aaron Nola.
Years later, it seems to have helped him.
The Mets slugger continued to enjoy success against the stellar Phillies righthander on Saturday night, driving the lone run in the Mets’ 1-0 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 43,857 at Citi Field.
In college, when Alonso played for Florida, he struggled greatly against Nola, who pitched for LSU. He couldn’t hit him. In one match, Nola knocked him out three times.
“They were really bad at bats,” Alonso recalled after driving his major league-leading 23rd winning series of the season. “He’s one of those guys who really owned me in college and I just used that prior experience and took that as a learning tool.”
Alonso has had great success against Nola at the big league level. He is 14-for-40 against him with four home runs and eight RBI’s. He attributes some of that to having a good look at Nola years ago in college.
“Just because I know what this stuff looks like. I was introduced to how he pitches and his stuff, really,” Alonso said. “He was really effective against me. I learned from those experiences and as I progressed and matured in my career I was able to make those adjustments.”
The Mets had only four hits in eight innings against Nola, and none after the second inning, but Alonso’s single into the opposite field in the first inning was enough for Jacob deGrom and three relievers.
With two outs and Starling Marte on third base, Alonso lined an 0-1 fastball to rightfield to score the lone run of the game, bringing in the 97th RBI of his strong season.
“Fastball across the plate. I just tried to stay in it and send the ball to the right side of the park,” said Alonso. “He didn’t really make too many other mistakes tonight, so I’m just glad I was able to take advantage when I got one.”