I’ve gone about this many times in the past, but as a new season dawns, let me remind you all that inside the park home runs are almost always dumb. Sure, once in a while it’s a matter of pure, burning speed and a bang-bang play at the plate. But most of the time it’s a matter of a random bounce or a physical mistake by an outfielder in which he didn’t get close enough to the ball to even have an error called on him.
Or sometimes both. Like the one Allen Craig hit this afternoon. Made possible by a carom and Jose Bautista falling on his kiester. If Allen Craig scores on an inside the park home run and doesn’t even have to slide, you know it’s way less than the name implies:
Give me triples. Triples over inside the parkers seven days a week.
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.