When Pete Alonso hits a home run, especially in these times where the Mets are on the fringe of the playoff run (turns out the Indians were right all along), it’s big news. Alonso has stolen a lot of scenes and buried a lot of ledes with his incredible season.
There were notable instances to talk about from Friday’s victory in Cincinnati. Jacob deGrom pitched seven more shutout innings (four hits, no walks, nine strikeouts) to continue his late season push towards perhaps another Cy Young award. Jeff McNeil continued his incredible season in which he spent the first half of the season slapping the ball the other way, adjusted to pitchers going inside on him and now he has 23 home runs. (They talk about adjusting to the pitchers when it goes in the direction of pulling the ball to going the other way. McNeil has done the opposite successfully, which is impressive and very rare.) Amed Rosario continued his ascent to the core of the Mets with his 14th home run while having success at various places in the lineup. Even Handsome Art Howe won a round of Russian Roulette by putting Edwin Diaz in to face Eugenio Suarez with two runners on up by five runs in the 8th. Diaz struck out Suarez. The chamber was empty.
But once this happened, everything else was Storyline B:
Pete Alonso is the first Met to ever hit 50 home runs. He’s the first National League rookie to hit 50 home runs. The stat that blows my mind is that he’s the first rookie to hit 50 home runs … and was the first rookie to hit 40 home runs … in the season in which he debuted. The top three rookie home run seasons now belong to Aaron Judge at 52, Alonso at 50, and Mark McGwire at 49. But Judge and McGwire had cups of coffee in 2016 and 1986 before their brilliant rookie seasons in ’17 and ’87. Alonso is doing this without that initial cup o’ Joe to acclimate him to the majors. I don’t know if that makes what he’s done exponentially more impressive, but it’s impressive as hell.
(Also, I think he hit his home run off the sign that said “Red Hits Here, Win A Tundra”. Sorry, Reds fans.)
Everything he has done has impressed the hell out of everyone, on and of the field. I for one can’t wait to see what he can do the next couple of games in Cincinnati and in the final week as he tries to keep his team in the race while tangentially add to his insane rookie home run total.
Today’s Hate List
- It’s easy to hate the Pirates because it looks like they aren’t going to help us, or anybody. But it’s sad to see a team so noncompetitive.
- Of course, the Vazquez thing goes beyond baseball.
- But the Pirates were mailing it in well before that. And they’re the only team in the National League that’s mailing it in. Everybody else, even Miami, competes.
- So I’m not going to hate the Pirates.
- The Phillies, now that’s another story.