Here’s the MLB.com video highlight of Mike Napoli’s go-ahead solo blast from Saturday night, which put the Red Sox on top of the Yankees for good in the top of the ninth inning …
Listen closely as Napoli reaches the Red Sox dugout and you can hear him saying “what an idiot, what an idiot” in reference to Yankees rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka, who threw a bad fastball on a 1-2 count rather than opting for his signature out-pitch, the splitter. Napoli acknowledged that sound bite after the game:
Napoli kept his head down around the bases and saved the jab for his teammates, so this wasn’t exactly a vicious thing. But perhaps we’ll see some sort of spillover in Sunday night’s series finale on ESPN.
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.