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Yes, he’s still hitting monster home runs like the two he hit in the team’s 6-1 win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon, but he’s having less games with no hits and has even started to hit the ball the other way seemingly more often.
“I feel like I have pretty decent bat-to-ball,” Alonso said after the game. “I put a lot of stuff in play hard consistently and I’ve committed to the zone really well and I just want to continue to be able to do that.”
This approach has helped Alonso to a .276 batting average, 20 points higher than his career average, and a .357 average over the last seven games.
In the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, Alonso went 3-for-5 with the aforementioned two home runs and drove in five RBI. His second hit of the game, a single to center field, is really what’s encapsulating Alonso’s approach so far this season.
“Just taking whatever the opposing teams give me. I’ve always been able to go to the big parts of the field. This year it has happened a lot earlier,” Alonso answered when asked about going to right field more often. “I haven't seen as many drivable pitches where you want to get big on and hit a double in the gap or go up top but I just want to stay within myself and just put good quality swings on good pitches. Going to right field is a product of having a plan and not getting too big.”
“Guys who drive in runs can do that,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You try to crowd him and if you don’t get it in far enough, he’s going to do that to you.”
But the 27-year-old is known in the baseball world as a home run hitter -- he is a two-time Home Run Derby winner after all -- and while he’ll still give his team plenty of those, Alonso knows that he can do a lot more for the team in his fourth season.
“The book’s out. I’ve been around now and for me teams don’t want to give up the home run ball, so I want to be able to to adjust and have a good disciplined approach,” Alonso said. “If I’m staying disciplined, going the other way, taking walks or just putting a good quality swing on the ball in the zone, then I’m doing well.”
And when Alonso does well, the Mets do well. The team is the first to win 20 games this season and has won eight of its first nine series, the one non-win was a split with the defending champion Atlanta Braves.