Mets eliminated from playoff contention despite 10-3 win over Marlins
Rookie Pete Alonso hits MLB-leading 51st homer in victory
NEW YORK – Pete Alonso hit his major league-high 51st home run, one short of the rookie record, and Jacob deGrom made his last overpowering pitch for a repeat Cy Young Award as the New York Mets routed the Miami Marlins 10-3 Wednesday night in an easy win that wasn't enough to keep them in the playoff hunt.
New York was eliminated from the National League wild-card race when the Milwaukee Brewers secured the league's final postseason berth by completing a 9-2 victory in Cincinnati as the Mets (83-75) batted in the eighth.
With four games remaining, they are five behind the streaking Brewers (88-70), who were already ahead 6-1 by the time New York took the field.
There wasn't much reaction in a mild Citi Field crowd of 21,471 when the Milwaukee final went up on the out-of-town scoreboard. Many fans filed for the exits after Alonso walked in the eighth, and a handful chanted, "Thank you, Mets" following the final out.
So after a surprising surge in the second half from 11 games under .500, the Mets' pennant hopes were finally dashed for good. And it was a particularly painful night for All-Star Jeff McNeil — he broke his right hand when it was hit by a pitch.
Alonso and deGrom, however, put some more finishing touches on their sensational seasons.
Alonso hit a three-run shot off rookie Robert Dugger (0-4) to make it 7-0 in the second, keeping the slugger two homers ahead of Cincinnati's Eugenio Suárez — who also connected Wednesday night — for most in the majors.
No rookie since 1900 has ever led the big leagues outright in home runs.
Alonso needs one more to match the rookie mark set by Aaron Judge for the New York Yankees two years ago.
In his final scheduled start of the season, deGrom (11-8) got some rare extensive run support and allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings. He walked one batter and struck out seven to increase his NL-leading total to 255.
The right-hander finished the year with 23 consecutive scoreless innings — going exactly seven in each of his last eight starts and 12 of 13 to surpass 200 innings for the third straight season. He lowered his ERA to 2.43, just behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.41) for best in the majors.
After winning his first NL Cy Young Award with just 10 wins last year, deGrom appears poised to make it two in a row.
"In my mind, he's got a pretty commanding lead," manager Mickey Callaway said before the game.
Tyler Heineman got his first major league hit with a pinch-hit double off deGrom and stood beaming at second base as the souvenir ball was tossed into Miami's dugout for safe keeping. A similar ritual didn't go so smoothly for younger brother Scott Heineman, who hit his first career home run with Texas early this month — also in New York. It took a plea from Yankees public address announcer Paul Olden and an exchange with a father and son in attendance to get the right ball back to Scott Heineman after a different one was thrown onto the field.
Mets: McNeil exited after getting plunked by an 89 mph fastball from Josh Smith in the sixth. X-rays revealed a fracture that ends his season. ... LF Dominic Smith (left foot stress fracture) worked out on the field and was eligible to come off the 60-day injured list. Callaway said the team wants to see how Smith feels Thursday before deciding whether to activate him with just a few games remaining.
Marlins: Rookie right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (4-5, 4.83 ERA) pitches the series finale Thursday night, his second outing since returning from a forearm strain. He is 0-5 with a 7.68 ERA since going 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his first six career starts.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 3.99 ERA) makes perhaps his final start for New York. The 29-year-old can become a free agent after the season. Wheeler was a premier prospect when the Mets acquired him from San Francisco for Carlos Beltrán in July 2011 and has spent his entire major league career with New York, missing two full seasons following Tommy John surgery. But he's bounced back to win 23 games and throw nearly 370 innings over the past two years. "Everybody wants this guy, I'm sure," Callaway said. "So we'll see what happens."
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