Pete Alonso made a promise to himself: don’t forget. Remember those empty bats against Aaron Nola.
Years later, it seems to have helped him.
The Mets slugger continued to find success Saturday night against the stellar Phillies right-hander, driving in the only inning of the Mets’ 1-0 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 43,857 at Citi Field.
In college, when Alonso played for Florida, he struggled mightily against Nola, who pitched for LSU. He couldn’t hit him. In one match, Nola retired him three times.
“They were really bad at batting,” Alonso recalled after driving in his major league-leading 23rd inning of the season. “He’s one of those guys who really belonged to me in college and I just used that prior experience and took it as a learning tool.”
Alonso enjoyed a lot of success against Nola at the big league level. He’s 14-for-40 lifetime against him with four homers and eight RBIs. He credits some of that to having a good look at Nola years ago in college.
“Just because I know what this thing looks like. I was introduced to how he throws and his stuff, really,” Alonso said. “He was really effective against me. I learned from those experiences and as I progressed and matured in my career, I was able to make those adjustments.
The Mets had just four hits in eight innings against Nola, and none after the second inning, but Alonso’s base hit in the opposite field in the first inning was enough for Jacob deGrom and three relievers.
With two outs and Starling Marte on third base, Alonso lined up an 0-1 fastball to right field to score the lone run of the game, scoring the 97th RBI of his strong season.
“Fastball on the plate. I was trying to stay inside, drive the ball to the right side of the park,” Alonso said. “He didn’t really make too many other mistakes tonight, so I’m just glad I was able to capitalize when I had one.”
New York Post