New York made the announcement late Monday night, two days after Alonso started to publicly mention the positive assistance of a new batting instructor – someone who, apparently, is fictional.
“I found out on Twitter while I was eating my postgame meal,” Alonso said, explaining he then talked to acting general manager Zack Scott and gave Davis and Slater hugs. “And then I cried at my locker a little bit.”
The slugging first baseman referred to the departed coaches as “Uncle Chili and Uncle Slate, I mean, they’re like family to us.”
“It really caught us all off guard,” Alonso said. “It’s confusing for me, and, listen, I respect everybody who made that decision. But to me, it just doesn’t make sense right now.”
“But I know that the guys coming up, guys coming in have great minds, they’re great people. And I know that people who were in charge in the office know that they want to win, everybody wants to win. But I guess from a results standpoint, from let’s say 2, 2½ years, the results have been there and so to me it still doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Scott was hired by team president Sandy Alderson after new owner Steven Cohen bought the Mets last fall.
Manager Luis Rojas said the coaching changes were an “organization decision … that’s the best way I can share it right now.”
He said he was not concerned a manager change could be coming.
“Those are types of things that I do not think about just because in my field, it’s just very disrespectful to the group here to be worrying about that before worrying about the team,” Rojas said.
The sudden moves, uncommon for this early in a season, were announced after a 6-5 loss at St. Louis.
“It broke my heart. I was sad,” Lindor said. “It hurt me a little bit.”
While the Mets began Tuesday ranked ninth among the 30 teams with .240 batting average, they are last in runs with 76 and home runs with 18. Their .209 batting average with runners in scoring position is 29th and they are dead last with a .143 average with two outs and runners in scoring position.
After Saturday night’s 5-4 win at Philadelphia, Alonso made a curious reference to the contributions of a new coach.
“We just made a nice new hire, Donnie,” Alonso said then. “He’s a nice — he’s a great hitting-slash-approach coach. Donnie’s been great helping the team. I think Luis forget to mention Donnie. Donnie really helped us today, too.”
Asked to explain further, Alonso said: “He’s a new hire. He’s our like mental-slash-approach coach. I feel like we had a really cool collective-like team approach today, and Donnie helped us out, for sure.”
Pushed for Donnie’s name, Alonso said: “I got to ask that, I got to ask Chili — oh, Stevenson, I think that’s it.”
Following Alonso to the interview chair, Michael Conforto smiled when asked about Donnie.
“Donnie’s a new guy. He made an appearance today at our hitters meeting. He’s all about the approach,” Conforto said. “He’s a hitting-approach guy. He’s a guy that just gets the boys fired up and ready to go.”
Alonso brought up the mystery man again after Sunday night’s 8-7 victory.
“He had some guys in the cage and we were just focusing on ripping heaters,” Alonso said. “And that’s what we did today. We were focused on ripping the fastball around the yard and ripping the heater today was the main focus. We put a lot of runs on the board and we were really locked in. He had some really good words of advice and, yeah, I mean it’s awesome.”
Asked Tuesday about whether his references to a different hitting coach didn’t help Davis’ situation, Alonso replied: “I’m not going to talk about that.”
Scott also refused to address the mysterious coach, Mr. Stevenson.
“You’d have to ask the players about Donnie,” he said Monday night.
Cohen did chime in on the players’ imaginary helper. “I love Donnie,” he tweeted. “A major resource to the team and pretty cheap too.”
Davis didn’t blame Alonso’s and Conforto’s comments for his departure.
“The players were having fun and I know they didn’t mean any harm,” Davis was quoted as saying by the New York Post. “It was a fun time for them, but it probably didn’t help. People were just trying to loosen up as a group and it worked that night. They went out and put some runs on the board. I am all for them enjoying the game.”
Mets staff held a meeting with players on Tuesday that didn’t appear to change any perceptions.
“It’s an explanation that still doesn’t make sense to me right now,” Alonso said.
Lindor, a four-time All-Star, began Tuesday with a .163 average, 151st among 155 qualified batters. He learned of the firings from a text while walking to the team bus.
“Maybe if I would have been hitting a little bit more, maybe he had a job. I don’t know,” Lindor said.
Alonso said teams should not overly rely on analytics, calling himself an “old-school type player.”
“As times keep going on, the game stays the same. I mean, the game has been the same since the Civil War,” he said. “When it’s game time, when it’s my turn to hit in the box, it’s not Luis, it’s not Chili, it’s not the analytic department that’s in the box hitting. It’s Pete Alonso. It’s me. And that’s the same thing with every single one of those guys in the clubhouse.
“You got 13 hitters and all those guys, as soon as they step in the box, you might as well take the computer and break the screen, because any time you think about all those numbers in the computer, if you’re in there in that box and thinking, oh, it’s a 2-0 count, he’s 45% changeup, he’s 30% fastball and it’s a certain percent slider, you’re out, you’re a walking out, you’re an out in a helmet,” he said.
Chicago Cubs’ Zach Davies, three relievers combine for MLB’s 7th no-hitter
It’s the seventh no-hitter in baseball this season, the most ever before July 1.
Zach Davies pitched the first six innings on Thursday without giving up a hit, but he was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh inning after 94 pitches.
Righty Ryan Tepera pitched a clean seventh inning, and lefty Andrew Chafin did the same in the eighth. After walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth, closer Craig Kimbrel finished off the 17th no-hitter in Cubs’ history, striking out Cody Bellinger, Albert Pujols and pinch hitter Will Smith.
The Cubs walked eight batters, the most walks in a no-hitter since the Diamondbacks’ Edwin Jackson walked eight in a 149-pitch no-hitter against the Rays in 2010.
Davies went into the game with a 4.66 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. He walked five batters in the first four innings but stranded them all. He set the Dodgers down in order over his final two innings.
It’s the sixth time in the past 50 years a defending World Series champion has been no-hit. It’s the first time the Dodgers were no-hit since the Cubs did it to them in 2015 with Jake Arrieta on the mound. He starts against them on Friday.
Tampa Bay Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier ends combined no-hit bid after Boston Red Sox pull Nick Pivetta
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kevin Kiermaier broke up a combined no-hit bid by the Boston Red Sox with a one-out double in the eighth inning and Manuel Margot scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 victory Thursday night.
Joey Wendle was intentionally walked, and Margot dashed home on Barnes’ wild pitch with Francisco Mejía batting.
Kiermaier lined his opposite-field double to left off Darwinzon Hernandez, the third Red Sox pitcher. The Gold Glove center fielder also threw out a runner at the plate in the seventh.
“It was a tied ballgame,” Kiermaier said. “We were just trying to stay the course and try and get something going.”
Boston starter Nick Pivetta was pulled with a runner on second and two outs in the seventh after throwing 100 pitches. His career high is 116.
“To be honest with you, it was the right call. It made the most sense,” said Pivetta, who wanted to stay in the game. “We’re all about winning.”
Pivetta finished with eight strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. He joined Babe Ruth, on May 20, 1916, against the St. Louis Browns, as the only Red Sox pitchers to be removed with a no-hitter after six or more innings.
“It was amazing,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “He was into it.”
Boston was trying to throw the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season. That would have matched 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most since 1900, one shy of the record eight in 1884 — the first season overhand pitching was allowed.
Despite a tough loss that dropped the Red Sox a half-game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East, Cora saw a lot of positives.
“A lot of people, they didn’t believe in this team before the season,” he said. “I think the way we played against these guys tonight shows how good we are. We have a lot of work to do, we know that. We belong in the conversation, we really do.”
“It’s going to be a fun summer in Boston,” Cora added.
Tampa Bay starter Michael Wacha, who took a no-hitter into the fifth, allowed one hit and two walks in five innings. He had seven strikeouts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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