Pete Alonsois one homer away from making history on his own…
The 24-year-old part-Spanish American New York Metsslugger hit his 52nd homer of the season, tying New York Yankees star Aaron Judge‘s total from 2017 for most by a rookie.
Alonso lined an 0-1 fastball from Atlanta Bravesleft-hander Dallas Keuchelnarrowly over the wall in left field in the first inning Friday night. He smiled as he hurried around the bases and pointed to the home fans as he crossed the plate. Teammates greeted him with handshakes outside the dugout, and the crowd at Citi Fieldinsisted on a curtain call.
“Unbelievable. When I was rounding the bases I felt like a little kid. I felt like a 7-year-old kid,” Alonso said. “I was just really kind of overcome with pure joy and emotion. I don’t think I’ve had a happier time in my life playing baseball. That is the ultimate. That’s what dreams are made of. It’s unbelievable that it happened. I still can’t believe it happened.”
Keuchel was booed when he walked Alonso in the third inning, and the big slugger popped up and struck out in his final two at-bats. The Mets won 4-2.
Alonso leads the CincinnatiReds’ Eugenio Suarezby three for the majors’ home run lead and would be the first rookie since at least 1900 to claim the big league crown outright. Manager Mickey Callawaysaid he might bat Alonso leadoff in the final two games to get him extra at-bats, and Alonso was eager to slide up a spot.
A history major in college with “an affinity for that kind of stuff,” Alonso said he’s struggling to comprehend the accomplishment.
“When I think of baseball history, I think old-timey guys like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds,” Alonso said. “Geez, I mean, to think that as a rookie I hit more homers than everyone except for one guy, it’s nuts. It’s crazy. I’m not trying to sound any other way. It’s just, wow.”
Judge, who has struggled with injuries the past two seasons, has 26 homers in 100 games in 2019. He predicted late Friday night that Alonso would break the rookie record.
“No better person to share it with. He’s eventually going to break it, I know that for sure,” Judge said. “Happy for him. I had a chance to meet him this year and talk to him a little bit, and no better individual to represent not only the Mets but the city of New York. He’s going to do a lot of special things over his long career. I’m excited for him. This is just the beginning for him, the first of many records he’s going to break.”
Alonso has already set franchise records for homers, total bases (343) and extra-base hits (84). He has 119 RBIs and 100 runs, becoming the first Mets rookie to reach triple digits in both categories. No New York player had reached those totals in any season since David Wrightand Carlos Beltranin 2008. The 119 RBIs put Alonso just five away from matching Wright’s all-time single-season franchise record.
“He’s been outstanding,” Callaway said. “There’s just something about Pete that draws everybody in.”
Alonso’s 52nd homer also tied him with for second-most all time in a player’s first season with a team. Alex Rodriguezhit 52 in 2001, his first season with the Texas Rangers. Babe Ruth holds the record with 54 homers for the Yankees in 1920, after he was traded from the Boston Red Sox.
New York trailed the National League East-champion Braves 2-1 after Alonso’s homer.
In a record season for home runs in the majors, Alonso’s long ball feat wasn’t the only one achieved Tuesday night. The Yankees got in on the fun when they became the second team in MLB history with 300 homers in a season. They joined the Minnesota Twins, who reached the mark on Thursday.
The 39-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a slugger for the Minnesota Twins, homered three times in the first five innings against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night, leading the Twins to a 10-3 victory.
Cruz hit a solo drive in the first, a two-run shot in the third and another two-run homer in the fifth. It’s the first career three-homer game for the six-time All-Star, who has 385 home runs in his career.
Cruz batted again with a runner on first in the sixth and struck out swinging against Jimmy Cordero, ending the inning. He flied out to right leading off the ninth, ending the day 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
“It’s not easy,” Cruz said. “To be able to hit three is a blessing.
“The most important thing is we won and the way [Jose] Berrios pitched. At the end of the day, it’s pitching.”
Cruz went deep against All-Star Lucas Giolitoon different pitches — fastball, curveball and changeup.
“He’s a good hitter,” Giolito said. “He was seeing me well.”
Cruz’s outburst followed three-homer games by New York Metssecond baseman Robinson Cano on Tuesday night and St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong on Wednesday.
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, it’s the first time in major league history there’s been a three-homer game on three consecutive days.
Cruz, who signed a $14.3 million, one-year contract with Minnesota in January, has six homers in his past four games and 25 overall this season. According to Stats LLC, he is the oldest player in major league history to hit six-plus homers in a four-game span, surpassing Barry Bonds, who hit seven in four games at age 36 in 2001.
Cruz also became the 10th player in big league history with a three-homer game after turning 39, according to Baseball Prospectus data, joining a list that includes Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez.
“You just assume he’s done things like that,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Those kind of nights are pretty unique and special, and when you get a chance to see them live, we all kind of enjoy them and appreciate them.”
Cruz is the only player with multiple four-game homer streaks this season. He also hit a homer in four consecutive games June 5-9, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He is the oldest player with a three-homer game since Rodriguez did it four years ago against the Twins.
At 39 years and 24 days old, Cruz is the second-oldest player in the modern era (since 1900) with seven homers in a six-game span. Graig Nettleswas 40 years and 4 days old for the sixth game of his streak in August 1984.
The 37-year-old Dominican baseball star, an infielder for the Los Angeles Angels, on Saturday became the ninth Major League Baseball player to hit 600 home runs when he hit a grand slam off the Minnesota Twins’ Ervin Santana.
Pujols is the only player whose 600th home run was a grand slam.
The Angels designated hitter is the first player to reach 600 home runs since Jim Thome in 2011. The six-year gap between Thome’s and Pujols’ reaching the mark is the longest between players reaching 600 home runs since the 31-year gap between Hank Aaron (April 1971) and Barry Bonds (August 2002).
Among hitters with 600 home runs, only Babe Ruth (.342) had a higher career batting average than Pujols’ current .308 career mark.
Only Willie Mays and Aaron had more at-bats at the time of their 600th home runs than Pujols’ current total of 9,341.
Pujols’ overall accomplishments have been reflected in the three MLB MVP Awards he has won.
With his 600th home run, he joined Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez as the only players in major league history with three MVP Awards and 600 home runs.
Pujols (37 years, 138 days) is the fourth-youngest player to reach 600 home runs, behind Rodriguez (35 years, eight days), Ruth (36 years, 196 days) and Aaron (37 years, 81 days).
Pujols ranks second in St. Louis Cardinals history with 445 home runs, trailing Hall of Famer Stan Musial (475). They’re the only two players in Cardinals history who hit more than 300 home runs, and Pujols hit his in half as many seasons with the Cardinals as Musial. They both won three MVPs in Cardinals uniforms.
Pujols is the second player born outside of the United States to hit 600 homers. The other was Sammy Sosa, who had 609. Four of the five top non-U.S.-born home run hitters were from the Dominican Republic (Sosa, Pujols, Manny Ramírez with 555 and David Ortiz with 541). Cuban-born Rafael Palmeiro has the third-most home runs hit by a non-U.S.-born player, with 569.
Saturday’s home run was Pujols’ 78th at Angel Stadium, which ranks third for ballparks at which he has homered. The leaders are Busch Stadium (110) and Busch Stadium II (94).
Pablo Sandoval is the Kung (Fu Panda) of the diamond at the World Series…
The 26-year-old baseball star hit three home runs in his first three at-bats to lead the San Francisco Giants to an 8-3 victory on Wednesday night over the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series.
Sandoval is only the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit three home runs in a World Series game, after Albert Pujols last year, Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Babe Ruth, who did it in 1926 and 1928.
Of the players, Sandoval is the only one to homer in his first three at-bats of the game.
In addition, Sandoval added a single in the seventh inning to improve to 4-for-4 on the night.
Sandoval homered off Justin Verlander in the first and third innings, then got to reliever Al Alburquerque in the fifth.
In the first inning, Sandoval connected on a high 95 mph pitch with an 0-2 count and sent the ball just over the wall in right-center. Then, on the next pitch after a mound visit by Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones in the third, Sandoval hit a two-run, opposite-field drive into the seats in left for a 4-0 lead. Verlander simply said, “Wow!”
In July, Sandoval hit the first bases-loaded triple in All-Star Game history off Verlander, the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner.
Sandoval’s third homer was a solo shot to center field with one out and nobody on in the fifth.
Sandoval is the 10th player in major league history to hit two or more home runs in the first game of the World Series. He has an RBI in six straight postseason games, breaking the team record for longest streak that he previously shared with Barry Bonds.
Winning by home run is unusual for the Giants, whose 103 home runs were last in the major leagues. The only other three-homer game at the ballpark was by the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Kevin Elster in the very first opener, in 2001. The last three-homer game by a Giant was Aubrey Huff at St. Louis in June 2011.
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols produced one of the greatest hitting performances in World Series history during last night’s game against the Texas Rangers.
The 31-year-old Dominican-born baseball star tied the records of Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth in hitting three home runs in a single World Series game.
But Pujols didn’t stop there… The three-time National League MVP also drove in six runs and finished with five hits—tying a Series record with each feat. In the end, he set a Series mark with 14 total bases.
So what does Pujols think of what many are calling the defining game of his career?
“Just pretty special,” proclaims Pujols. “Hopefully, at the end of my career, I can look back and say, ‘Wow, what a game it was in Game 3 in 2011.'”
Its’ no wonder Pujols is one of the most feared sluggers in the majors. After all, he became the first player in Series history to get hits in four straight innings.
“When the opportunity presents itself to put him on the bag, I’m not going to let him swing the bat,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington.
“But tonight, we just couldn’t get the ball out of the middle of the plate and up, and he just didn’t miss.”
In the end, Pujols’ mind-blowing batting helped lift the Cardinals past the Rangers 16-7. St. Louis now leads the series 2-1.