Pete Alonso wins first major championship of his career by flipping bats

Pete Alonso skillfully shifted the racket, holding the barrel in his right hand so he could use his weight to his advantage. Flicking his wrist, he turned the bat like a main drum before letting it fly freely in the air. She made two more laps on her way to Earth.

“This is called bat heart,” Alonso said afterward, as if there was any doubt about the act or its ramifications. The Mets spent the first half of their series in Nationals Park taking baseball after baseball game to various parts of their faces, backs, and shoulders. They were upset, if not completely angry. They also knew that winning the series – perhaps even with a bit of flair – would represent a much more effective revenge than engineering a ball war.

So when Alonso grabbed the first major of his career in the fifth inning on Saturday, putting the Mets in pole position for a 5-0 win over the Nationals and securing a chain win, he let his racket trip do the talking. If bat swings are a language in themselves – sometimes expressing anger, sometimes whims, sometimes joy – Alonso is able to speak it fluently. His heart expressed a wonderful affirmation.

It was coming,” said manager Buck Showalter.

Less than 48 hours ago, it was Alonso who hit the dirt in the ninth inning of the opening day, when Mason Thompson Fastball cleft his lip and left him swollen and bloodied. Boiling Mets afterwards. When Francisco Lindor suffered a similar fate the following night, they momentarily lost their temper, as Showalter led the charge from their lair.

Then on Saturday, Alonso pulled Joan Adon’s fastball high in the air, resisting the wind for nearly a full seven seconds before finally settling over a left-field fence. The resulting four runs secured a winner for Chris Bassett, who fired six runs on his Mets debut, while allowing Showalter to become the first coach in Mets history to win his first three games with the club.

“Oh, it’s such a nice feeling,” Alonso said, summarizing things for all of them. “Grandmothers are sick.”

Patients are still grandmothers who drive away bad intentions. Although few in the Mets believed that the pitches that hit Alonso and Lindor were intentional, they also believed the goal was missing. If the young nationals couldn’t control their high-speed volleys, Showalter and others thought they shouldn’t have thrown them anywhere near the inner edge of the board. Even as Adon Starling Marte hit a cracking ball on Saturday, Showalter noted, “That’s not intentional. But it still doesn’t make you happy.”

Alonso was not happy on Thursday. Lindor was not happy on Friday. So they set out to do something to change their mood, grinding the bat early against Adon. When the Mets led the junior court count, Adon lost effectiveness, allowing a single foreground, two walks and a wild pitch for fifth. That sparked Alonso, who jumped at 2-1 and drove her high into the air to the left. Despite a severe breeze threatening to bring the ball down, Alonso contributed just enough muscle to lead him 358 feet over the fence.

Then he turned his racket in what he described as the unwritten moment. As he rolled the bases, Alonso pressed a finger to his lips – a signal, he said, for both the dugout citizens and their fans to silence their voice.

“It’s something that has to happen organically,” Alonso said of his celebration.

In that moment it was the kind of joy Alonso had always shown since the creation of the major leagues – the kind that Showalter described as “a guy who walks in here every day like he’s playing his first game in the Little League.” This time around, Alonso’s happiness may be tinged with some rough feelings too, given the events of the previous two days. But his Grand Slam was a monument to what the Mets hoped that team’s identity would be. Alonso felt it was important to get back into the squad on Friday, a day after he spit blood on the field. Lindor felt similarly.

For Alonso to accomplish what he did in the midst of such circumstances, he was not lost among his teammates.

“We’ve got two players with totally broken mouths already in two games, and they’re in the lineup the next day,” Bassett said. “Being on a team that wants to grind down like this one? Good luck, may God bless you. We’ll just grind you until you break.”