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Mets think Dodgers could be stealing signs

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In the movie “Bull Durham,” Nuke LaLoosh, after giving up a long home run, said “the sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball.” The joke, of course, was that the sucker did know, because Nuke’s catcher told him.

It’s certainly not the case that Mets catchers are telling Dodgers hitters what Mets pitchers are throwing this week, but the Mets think something is up. From Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

After Monday’s loss, a couple Mets told The Post they were concerned the Dodgers were taking some really big swings, almost as if they knew what was coming. They believe the Dodgers are so good at either stealing signs, knowing sequencing patterns of pitchers and arm slots via video that they were onto what Mets pitchers were throwing at times.

“I think they have a system that helps them get some signs and stuff,’’ bench coach Jim Riggleman told The Post. “I don’t think it’s anything illegal, but I think they just do a good job of picking up things.

Again, worth noting, the Mets are NOT accusing the Dodgers of breaking any rules or anything. Stealing signs is not against the rules. It’s gamesmanship. It’s only a violation if they use technology like cameras or transmitted signals or whatever to help them do it. If, as Riggleman suggests, they’re just scouting the Mets’ pitchers’ habits really well, and even if they’re flashing signs to one another from second base, it’s all fair game.

After that Monday game Riggleman said the Mets would work on ways to change sequences and arm slots and stuff in an effort to keep the Dodgers hitters back on their heels a bit as opposed to swinging out of their shoes. Guess it didn’t work because, as we noted in the recaps, last night the Dodgers bashed the living heck out of the Mets bullpen, coming back from a five-run deficit for a dramatic victory. That victory came, in large part, via some big, big swings that sent balls a long, long way, including homers from Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy. It was like they knew what was coming.

Maybe they did?

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.