Francisco Alvarez 'happy' with swing, but Mets' catcher wants to 'win always'

Francisco Alvarez 'happy' with swing, but Mets' catcher wants to 'win always'

Francisco Alvarez was thinking double straight out of the box.

With two outs in the sixth on Monday night, the Mets catcher rocketed a low liner into the left-center field gap, hustled out of the box and flew around first base. And the diminutive second-year man's head-long slide to the inside of the second base bag eluded the tag.

It was the second double and third extra-base hit of the young season for the 22-year-old playing in just his 132nd big league game of his career.

“I’m really happy because my swing is very tight,” Alvarez told SNY’s Steve Gelbs before Monday’s game.

Manager Carlos Mendoza isn’t surprised by the catcher’s good start – six hits in 14 at-bats.

“I saw it from spring training and during the offseason, the way he prepared and the way he came into camp,” he said in his pregame news conference. “How hard he works, how invested he is in the pitching staff and how much he cares about the offensive game.

“And it’s good to see not only getting results but the at-bats. You know, this is a guy that [is] taking tough pitches on pitcher’s counts, when he gets behind in counts he gets back on again and gets to the 3-2, and then when he gets his pitch he’s putting good swings on it. And that’s good to see. So, hopefully, he can continue with this streak ‘cause he’s a talented player.”

Mendoza looked a prophet: The double came after Alvarez swung through two straight before taking three straight out of the zone to find an offspeed pitch in the middle of the plate for a full count hit.

But Alvarez told Gelbs that even with his good start he feels he has to do better after the Mets’ got swept to open the season, “It’s not what I want.”

“I play the game because I want to win always. And if we're losing, even if I do good, if I do great, if I do perfect sometimes,” he said, pausing to shake his head, “if we didn’t win I have that [bad] feeling in my heart.”

Unfortunately, Alvarez’s double was one of just five hits for the Mets in the 5-0 defeat to the Detroit Tigers, sending them to the franchise’s first 0-4 start to a season since 2005.