Mets record held since ’83 … along came Alonso

June 23rd, 2019

CHICAGO -- It may start to become bigger news when doesn’t hit a home run if he keeps going at this pace.

Just 24 hours after tying Darryl Strawberry’s Mets rookie record for home runs in a season in Saturday’s win, it took only two at-bats in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Cubs to break it.

With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Alonso crushed an 0-2 changeup from Cubs starter Cole Hamels deep into the right-center field bleachers to set the new franchise record, which stood for 36 years. It was Alonso’s team-leading 27th home run of the season and his third of the series.

“First at-bat, he got me on a couple of changeups. He got me to swing and miss on a changeup, then he got me to ground into the double play on the changeup,” Alonso said. “He executed his pitches well. He threw me two curveballs, then he thought he could go back again. It was a good pitch, but fortunately, I saw two of them in the previous at-bat. Saw one up and took a really good swing on it.”

Alonso’s 454-foot bomb also extended his National League rookie record for home runs before the All-Star break, and he is now one home run shy of Mark McGwire's all-time record for the most home runs by a rookie before July 1 (28 in 1987).

“Congrats to Pete for breaking my record, which has stood for a long time,” Strawberry said in a statement. “What he’s done in a short period of time is most impressive. No goal seems out of reach. I wish Pete and the Mets all the best the rest of the year.”

It was the first homer on an 0-2 pitch Hamels had allowed since May 22, 2014 (Marcell Ozuna) and only the 13th 0-2 homer he’s allowed in his career. It was also the first homer allowed by Hamels since May 17.

"He's doing something amazing. He's almost got 30 homers and we've still got two weeks [until] the All-Star break,” Cubs star Javier Baez said of Alonso. “I actually talked to him. I told him to keep having fun and keep doing what he was doing. I like the way he's playing the game and the way he's hitting the ball."

Alonso homered three times in four games in his historic weekend in Chicago and is now second in MLB in homers, only trailing 2018 National League Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich, who has 29 homers on the season.