Johnny Damon’s time playing for Thailand lasted all of two games, as the team was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament last night.
Thailand lost Game 1 to the Philippines and Game 2 to New Zealand, falling by a combined score of 20-4 while committing 11 errors defensively.
Damon started the first game at designated hitter and the second game at first base, going 3-for-7 with a walk and three singles while grounding into a double play.
Damon’s mother is Thai and despite back-to-back ugly losses he seemed happy to have played for the team, telling Denny Wu of MLB.com: “The experience was amazing. I am glad I get to come represent my mother’s country. My role for the next four years, hopefully Thailand has a chance to get back. My role is to help out as much as possible.”
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.