Matt Shoemaker plays long toss, could throw from mound Sunday

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Angels starter Matt Shoemaker continues to make progress from a left oblique strain. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reports that the right-hander long-tossed from 180-200 feet on Saturday afternoon with no restrictions. Per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Shoemaker said he still felt some tightness, but it’s almost gone.

Shoemaker could throw from a mound on Sunday, which would be the next step as he attempts to rejoin the Angels for the ALDS against the winner of the Wild Card play-in game.

Shoemaker, celebrating his 28th birthday today, has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels, as he ends the regular season with a 16-4 record, a 3.04 ERA, and a 124/24 K/BB ratio in 136 innings over 20 starts and seven relief appearances. If he’s able to join the Angels in the ALDS, he would slot in behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.