The Phillies entered the weekend a half-game back of the Mets and emerged 2.5 ahead of the now-second-place Braves, sending New York's second-favorite team into a mini tailspin as the Phils took control of the NL East.
It was a glorious weekend for baseball fans in Philadelphia, but Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso wants folks in New York to keep calm and carry on despite the Metropolitans absolutely choking away a pivotal series in August against a hated division rival.
Alonso's post-game press conference on Sunday felt like it was plucked from a bizarro dimension where getting swept isn't actually all that bad. Alonso tried to put on a glass-half-full act, complete with a truly strange call to action for Mets fans. I'll let him speak for himself:
"Mets fans, believe in us. Don't just believe, know. Because I understand these are tough times, not just in baseball but in life in general. Know that this is just a speed bump and a challenge. And also smile. You get to watch baseball. Even though we're - it's a game. I know we have the most passionate fanbase in baseball, and I understand that it's frustrating. It's frustrating for us. But just understand that we're here together. We're all in this together, and we - we got this. We got this. Just smile and know that we got this."
Look, I'm not going to tell Pete and Mets fans to pack it in. This division is wild, and still tight, and baseball is unpredictable. The Mets can still win this division.
But telling your fans, "Smile, you get to watch baseball," is not exactly the tactic I would've used.
In Alonso's defense, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins gave a less-odd-but-still-odd post-game presser amid some struggles earlier this season that wasn't well-received by Phillies fans:
"Sure, write about the defense, write about how I didn't catch the ball, but don't forget to write about the really, really good things that went on today as well. Because I really think this is a really good team. The ball isn't really bouncing our way, we aren't getting calls, things like that seem to be happening. Yeah, sure, we're 75 or 80 games in. But there's a lot of baseball to be played, the schedule softens as we go, and this team has the ability to go on a run, and I really think we have a long run in us."
Most fans didn't care for the messaging at the time, but Hoskins was right! The Phillies are on that run right now, rattling off an eight-game win streak to reclaim division supremacy for the time being. Maybe Alonso can incur the same kind of magic and the Mets will go on a heater.
Or maybe things will crumble.
Let's see how things are going over in New York:
Ah. Not much smiling just yet.
But hey, keep your head up, Pete. You get to play baseball.