Pete Alonso begged to start against his old rival and then promptly went deep
We've all got a nemesis out there that we're just dying to crush. Batman's got the Joker, the town of Pawnee has Eagleton and you've got your cubicle mate who won't eat crackers with his mouth closed.
Mets rookie sensation Pete Alonso has his own rival: Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson. The two faced off in college, when Alonso was at the University of Florida and Hudson attended Mississippi State. Hudson had the upper hand in those matchups, retiring Alonso each of the four times they faced. Alonso was cagey with his reasons, but it certainly seems like there's little love lost between the two players.
So, with Hudson starting against the Mets on Sunday, Alonso knew he needed to get back into the lineup. The only problem? He had been hit in the hand during Saturday's game and there was a chance that manager Mickey Callaway would give him the day off to let the bruise heal. Alonso wasn't having any of it and started frantically texting and calling his skipper last night to ensure he'd get the start.
Callaway was on his way to dinner with his parents last night when Alonso started calling and texting him. "It scared me," Callaway said. "I was like, ‘What happened?’ ... Then I saw him and he was like, ‘Hey, I want to play tomorrow. I hate this guy.'"— Greg Joyce (@GJoyce9) April 21, 2019
The gambit worked and Alonso was batting second on Sunday afternoon. On the second pitch he saw from Hudson, Alonso took those years of college frustration out in a single swing and absolutely crushed the ball to center. Center fielder Dexter Fowler didn't need to move as the ball landed up and over the berm in the outfield. That's one way to settle a beef.
Pete Alonso (@GatorsBB) insisted that #Mets skipper Mickey Calloway put him in the lineup today to face an old college nemesis, Dakota Hudson (@HailStateBB).— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 21, 2019
Alonso wins this one.
Gameday/watch live: https://t.co/NHhKs9A5me pic.twitter.com/9uF6d4fosD
While this was the first of their big league battles, here's hoping this is just the start of one of the great batter-pitcher rivalries in big league history. Maybe in a decade we'll talk about Alonso vs. Hudson the way we do Barry Bonds and Eric Gagne, Mike Piazza and Roger Clemens or Robina Ventura and Nolan Ryan -- hopefully with a couple fewer punches thrown along the way.
Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.