Most valuable player, pete Alonso reaffirming his met status………

There are times when it’s helpful to remember that there is a lowercase version of MVP. The lowercase version doesn’t necessarily take a picture with the plaque awarded in each league each year to the foremost players in the sport. But in their own cities, on their own teams, the lowercase version is essential.

Pete Alonso is the Mets’ most valuable player.

He is not going to win the National League’s Most Valuable Player this year. No Met in their history has ever won an MVP. But he is, by definition, the team’s most valuable player — lowercase edition. That was apparent these last few months, as he’s fought the most paralyzing slump of his career, because without him the Mets offense loses its engine.


It was, of course, even more apparent Tuesday evening at Yankee Stadium, where Alonso swatted two home runs and drove in five runs, powering the Mets to a feel-good 9-3 win. The Mets got another terrific start from Justin Verlander and survived some scary work from their bullpen, and got terrific work from all precincts.

But seeing Alonso right is what made the Mets’ clubhouse seem a little brighter.

“He knows how much he means to our club,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “And it kills him when he’s not going well.”

Alonso was deep in the weeds last week when he stood one at-bat away from dipping south of the Mendoza Line on Thursday. But in his final at-bat against the Red Sox he stroked an opposite-field RBI hit.

Hitters hate to admit that such simple things can be the spark that get them going — Alonso himself said, “I don’t want to be driven by results because baseball is a game of failure” — but, still, finding a hole when you haven’t been able to buy a hit for a week and a half isn’t such a terrible turn of events, either.

Then he went to Boston and went 5-for-12 with two doubles and a triple that reached the triangle at Fenway Park, which means it would’ve been a homer in 31 other yards. The Mets only won one of those games but their lodestar was back in business.

And Tuesday he firmly established that he finally seems free of his funk, driving in a run on a good-luck pop in the first before clearing the left-field fence for the first time in 45 at-bats, third-longest drought of his career. Then he hit another one his next time up.

“I’m happy to finally see the fruits of my labor,” Alonso said. “I was happy to impact us in a positive way tonight.”

What Alonso has gone through for most of the last three months is a reminder of just what an absurd thing it can sometimes be to be a major league baseball player. There is an awfully good chance that Alonso will hit better than 40 home runs and probably drive in around 115 runs or so.

Let’s put that in perspective: only five times has a Met hit as many as 40 homers — and Alonso already represents two of those. Only 10 times has a Met driven in as many as 115 — and, again, two of those are Alonso.

And yet, unless this is the start of an epic tear, this is a season likely bound for grave disappointment. For the Mets, sure, and for Mets fans, for certain. But nobody is going to be more disenchanted than Alonso. One thing is for sure: you can tell when he isn’t going well because he really does wear his emotions outwardly. Say anything you want about him but don’t say he doesn’t care. He does. A lot. And sometimes to his detriment.

“I saw it in Boston a little bit,” Showalter said. “His body language and facial expressions, you could tell he was starting to feel it a little bit.”

The Mets actually have a lane ahead of them now to avoid the potential oblivion of an August-September mail-in. They have one game against the Yankees, four at home against the 42-59 Nationals and then three in Kansas City against the 29-74 Royals.

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