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What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday evening’s action

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Wednesday’s action is already under way with four early afternoon games and two mid-afternoon games. And, to be honest, the pitching matchups for the evening aren’t terribly exciting.

It’s worth noting that Aaron Sanchez will return to the Blue Jays’ rotation after a spell at High-A Dunedin. If it seems odd that someone who made the 2016 All-Star team would be voluntarily sent to Single-A on a non-rehab assignment, it’s because the Jays are trying to limit his innings. The 24-year-old hadn’t thrown more than 133 1/3 innings in a season coming into 2016, but he’s already at 156 1/3 with the Jays this year. Unsurprisingly, Sanchez didn’t actually pitch in a game while in Dunedin.

Sanchez enters Wednesday night’s start, a 7:05 PM EDT matchup against the Orioles’ Yovani Gallardo at Camden Yards, with a 12-2 record, a 2.99 ERA, and a 132/46 K/BB ratio. The Jays own a two-game lead in the AL East with a 75-57 record. The O’s are three games back in third place. Though there’s more than a month left, this will be a very important start for Sanchez and the Jays.

The rest of Wednesday evening’s action…

Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan) @ Los Angeles Angels (Ricky Nolasco), 7:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan), 7:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (David Phelps) @ New York Mets (Bartolo Colon), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Pat Dean) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 7:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Paul Clemens) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Ryan Vogelsong) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 8:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Rich Hill Bud Norris) @ Colorado Rockies (Jeff Hoffman), 8:10 PM EDT [Game Two]

St. Louis Cardinals (Luke Weaver) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza), 8:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Luis Cessa) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 8:15 PM EDT

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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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.