Alonso ties an NL rookie record with 25th HR
Frazier belts 200th career home run with solo shot in loss to Cubs
CHICAGO -- Pete Alonso has put on a show in the first 74 games of his young career, and during the Mets’ 7-4 defeat to the Cubs on Thursday at Wrigley Field, he continued to show why he's one of the elite young sluggers in the game.
Alonso crushed a two-run home run off Tyler Chatwood to the bleachers in left field to extend the Mets’ lead to 3-0 in the third inning.
It was Alonso’s 25th home run, tying the record for most homers by a National League rookie before the All-Star break set by Cody Bellinger in 2017. Alonso became the first rookie in NL history to hit at least 25 home runs in his team's first 75 games of the season.
“He’s probably the one guy in our lineup right now that you’re gonna say, ‘Don’t let him beat us,’” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “They’re not just trying to get ahead and making sure they get a strike. Pete does a good job of laying off the ones he can’t hit, and when they make one mistake, he makes them pay.”
The blast, which left the bat at 117 mph, according to Statcast, was the third-hardest-hit homer in the Majors this season and the hardest homer hit at Wrigley Field since Statcast began tracking in 2015.
Alonso’s 118.3 mph homer on April 11 is tied with Gary Sanchez for the hardest-hit homer of the season.
The Mets’ 24-year-old first baseman, who finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, is having a season that is reminiscent of Bellinger and Aaron Judge in 2017, when each won the Rookie of the Year Award.
Alonso leads all rookies in almost every offensive category, including home runs, extra-base hits, total bases, runs, hits and walks. He’s putting together one of the greatest rookie seasons in Mets history.
Alonso owns the Mets’ rookie record for home runs before the All-Star break previously held by Ron Swoboda (15), and he is now one home run away from tying Darryl Strawberry for the club’s single-season rookie home run record of 26 set back in 1983.
The Mets’ overall team record of 41 home runs, set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and tied by Carlos Beltrán in 2006, is also well within reach.
“I don’t think [teams are] necessarily giving him pitches in the zone,” Callaway said. “I think they're trying to pitch him tough, and he does a great job when they make that one mistake of doing damage. That’s very hard to do. If you’re sitting there pumping fastball after fastball and challenging him and he hits one of three mistakes, that’s hard enough. But when you only get one and he’s making them pay, that’s pretty impressive.”
Frazier reaches 200 homers
Todd Frazier reached a major milestone in the Mets’ loss to Chicago.
In the ninth inning, Frazier launched a 2-2 fastball from Cubs rookie Adbert Alzolay, who was making his Major League debut, and deposited it into the seats in left-center field for the 200th homer of his career.
“You set goals in life, in baseball, and this is one of them,” said Frazier, who made his Major League debut in 2011. “Goes to show you that I’ve been playing for a while now. It’s exciting, but I definitely wish we had won the game.”
Frazier’s 200 home runs place him 29th all-time among players who have played 75% of their games at third base, and he ranks third among active third basemen, trailing only Evan Longoria (284) and Nolan Arenado (204).
“When you’re young, you just want to make the Major Leagues,” Frazier said. “The more and more you play, when you reach these milestones, it’s pretty exciting.”