Mets' Buck Showalter: Baseballs not carrying has been 'a challenge' across the game

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Jeff McNeil yelling in black jersey
Jeff McNeil yelling in black jersey

The Mets bats had a quiet night in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, but the team had a couple of hard-hit balls that looked like potential home runs off the bat, only to fall harmlessly as outs.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Jeff McNeil slammed a Marco Gonzalez pitch 95.4 miles per hour off the bat, hitting a 360-foot flyout to right that sounded like a homer off the bat. McNeil was visibly upset as the ball landed in Steven Souza Jr.’s glove for the out.

Then, in the eighth, Pete Alonso demolished a Paul Sewald pitch to center field. The ball came off the bat at 103.4 miles per hour with a 32 degree launch angle. According to Baseball Savant, Alonso’s ball had an expected batting average of .750. But instead of soaring out of the park, it was just another out.

It’s no secret that players have had issues with the baseballs this season, both in terms of grip and carry, and Friday was just another example of the balls not carrying the way they have in years past.

“Normally,” Buck Showalter responded when asked if he thought Alonso’s ball would carry out. “I think you guys know I’m not going to start getting into all of the things that are going on all over baseball. The numbers are what they are. What normally exit velocities dictate – it’s the same for both teams. I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s been a challenge all around baseball.

“We’re playing with the same baseballs from team to team. Whatever’s going on, we’ve won our share of games the way it is.”

Alonso was also asked about his long, loud out after the game, and he explained that he thought he had it as well off the bat.

“Off contact and in sound, absolutely I thought it had what it took to go over the wall, but it just didn’t, unfortunately,” Alonso said. “Whether it’s the ball or bad conditions, I mean, it is what it is. An out is an out. I tagged it pretty good. On contact it felt excellent. For me, I thought that should go over the wall, but again, conditions were pretty unfavorable tonight, pretty bad night, a lot of fog out, raining. Pretty much not a good night to hit the ball over the wall.

“Did my job and hit the ball hard. It just didn’t go for me.”