Mets' Carlos Mendoza discusses 'special feeling' of earning first win as big league manager

It’s been a frustrating start to the season for first-year manager Carlos Mendoza and the Mets.

Aside from a few rough outings, the pitching has looked relatively solid thus far, but a slow start on the offensive side of things led to a series-opening sweep at the hands of Rhys Hoskins and the Brewers.

After dropping the first two games of their second series against the Tigers, the Mets looked well on their way to back-to-back sweeps and a sixth consecutive loss, but one swing of the bat changed everything.

New York was held hitless over the first seven innings in Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader by Tigers pitchers Matt Manning and Tyler Holten before Harrison Bader led off the eighth with a bloop single to left.

An inning later, with the team down to their final outs, Pete Alonso cracked a game-tying solo home run leading off the ninth against his former teammate at the University of Florida, right-hander Alex Faedo.

“He’s so strong,” Mendoza said. “Every time he makes contact, you never know. He’s such a strong guy, he went and got the pitch down in the zone, and when he hit it I knew it was at least a double but it kept going which was good to see.”

Brett Baty followed that up with a terrific walk, and after advancing to second on a Starling Marte sacrifice bunt, he scored the winning run on the first walk-off hit of Tyrone Taylor’s career.

The Mets paraded out of the dugout and then carried the celebration into the locker room where they showered their new manager with beer, champagne, and eggs to commemorate his first-career win.

“We’re so stoked for Mendy,” Alonso said. “He’s spent a lot of time in baseball and it’s really nice to get that first one out of the way. We’re so happy for him and we’re really happy to be a part of something like this for him, it was special.”

Mendoza, who worked his way through the Yankees organization before earning the Mets gig this offseason, took some time to reflect on his milestone after celebrating the victory with his squad.

“It’s a special feeling,” he said. “It’s really nice to get the first one out of the way. Obviously the boys were excited, it means a lot coming from them because I know how hard they’ve been trying. Not the homestand we were anticipating but there’s a lot of baseball left. We have to take things one game at a time and we’ll get rolling here pretty soon.”