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Mets Morning News: Pete hits #52

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Your Saturday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets began their final series of the regular season—a three-game homestand against the NL East champion Atlanta Braves—last night, and it was a historic night for their future Rookie of the Year-winning first baseman, as Pete Alonso hit his 52nd homer of the year in the first inning. That shot tied him with Aaron Judge for the all-time record for most homers hit by a rookie in a season, giving him the final two games of the series to hit one more homer and take the record for himself. Meanwhile, J.D. Davis added a two-run shot of his own later in the game, and Marcus Stroman pitched six quality innings to help lead the Mets to a 4-2 win over their division rival.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue recap short and long, Bergen County Record, MLB.com, Newsday

Pete Alonso has been making history all season, and he’s enjoying every second of it.

One person who was very happy to see Alonso tie Aaron Judge’s record: Aaron Judge.

Jacob deGrom’s run of success over these past two seasons has been nothing short of remarkable.

The Mets have a couple of representatives on the list of top 20 most popular MLB jerseys of 2019, as Alonso’s jersey comes in at number 14 and deGrom’s comes in at 19.

The Mets will soon have an important decision to make about their 2020 manager.

Juan Lagares is the longest-tenured player on the Mets’ roster, but his run with the team may be coming to an end this weekend.

In spite of getting activated from the IL, Jed Lowrie has not gotten many opportunities to contribute to the Mets this September, but at this point he’s just focused on entering the offseason in good health.

After spending the past couple months with the team, Joe Panik is hoping that he’ll be able to return to the Mets next season.

Around the National League East

The Braves were hoping that Ender Inciarte would return from his hamstring injury in time for the beginning of the postseason. Alas, yesterday he indicated that he was still feeling some discomfort, and Atlanta has ruled him out for the NLDS.

The Nationals helped end the Indians’ playoff hopes with an 8-2 victory over the Tribe. It was Washington’s sixth straight victory as they look to head into the postseason with a strong finish.

No surprise here: Davey Martinez announced that Max Scherzer will start the wild card game for the Nationals next Tuesday.

The Phillies and Marlins battled for 15 innings last night, with both teams not scoring for nine straight innings after the fifth. Philadelphia finally broke through with a walk-off fielder’s choice off the bat of Adam Haseley to deliver a 5-4 loss to Miami.

Around Major League Baseball

There were two champagne celebrations yesterday, as the Athletics and the Rays both clinched wild card berths. The two clubs will play each other in the AL wild card game on Wednesday.

While every team in the postseason is hoping that they’ll be the ones to win it all, the urgency is slightly greater for some clubs than it is for others.

MLB attendance numbers have dropped for the fourth straight year, and the tendency of several organizations to tank instead of trying to field a competitive team might be a major reason for that.

Carlos Carrasco wrote an emotional piece for The Players’ Tribune detailing his leukemia diagnosis, his subsequent battle with the illness, and his return to baseball.

The designs of modern MLB ballparks don’t tend to differentiate themselves too drastically from one another, and one architect has some thoughts on how he’d like to see that change.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Vas Drimalitis previewed the final series of the season for the Mets and predicted the Amazins would close out 2019 with a series loss to their division rivals.

Steve Sypa reviewed the 2019 season for the Kingsport Mets and provided brief scouting reports for some of the team’s highlight players.

Joe Sokolowski provided us with the best Mets-related quotes from the final week of the regular season.

This Date in Mets History

Today is a bittersweet day in Mets history, as it was on this date eleven years ago when the team played their final game at Shea Stadium. That game was sad both because it was the final time the Amazins played in the stadium that they had called home for over forty years and because they got eliminated from the postseason on that date with a demoralizing 4-2 loss to the pesky Marlins. At least the post-game ceremony was nice.