Sportress of Blogitude

Mets’ Pete Alonso: Grand slam a ‘birthday bomb’ for his mother

New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is getting his spring training swing quickly primed, as the star first baseman hit a grand slam during Thursday’s 8-4 win over the Washington Nationals in Grapefruit League action.

Alonso’s four-bagger came in the bottom of the fifth inning and the opposite-field smash gave the Mets a 5-4 lead.

As luck would have it, Alonso’s parents traveled from Tampa to Port St. Lucie to watch their son play. Making the day even better? Thursday marked the birthday of Alonso’s mother, Michelle.

Alonso made note of how he dedicated the grand slam to his mom, a “big shoutout” to her with a “birthday bomb,” as he put it.

“After the ball went over the fence, I went, ‘Yeah, it’s my mom’s birthday today,’ ” Alonso said. “It was fun. I am really happy I got to hit a home run on her birthday when she got to see me play.”

The grand slam was a welcome development for Alonso beyond it coming on his mother’s birthday. The first baseman failed to hit a home run in 14 Grapefruit League games last season and it turned out to be a down 2020 for the young star. While Alonso did hit 16 home runs in the coronavirus pandemic-condensed 60-game season, he batted a paltry .231 with an .817 OPS.

Suffice to say, slugging a home run early on in the exhibition slate was a relief for Alonso.

“It felt excellent,” Alonso said. “I was just trying to stick to my plan, get a good pitch to hit over the plate, and I got one. … If I can blend being consistent, making those type of short, simple, compact swings and minimizing chase, I feel like I’m going to be set up extremely well going into the season.”

Alonso is without question not only a key cog for the Mets, he’s also a firebrand and spark plug who injects attitude and swagger into the lineup. If the slugger continues to roll during spring training, it obviously will set Alonso up for a resurgent 2021.