Jay Bruce’s tenure with Phillies has started well

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Outfielder Jay Bruce has only been a Phillie for three days, coming over from the Mariners over the weekend, but his tenure with his new team has started off on the right foot. After entering Monday’s game when Andrew McCutchen suffered a season-ending knee injury, Bruce went 1-for-3 with a single, with the single coming off of lefty reliever Robbie Erlin.

On Tuesday, Bruce doubled and scored in the second inning. He then belted a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth, and tacked on a grand slam in the fifth as the Phillies eventually won 9-6. Bruce kept it going on Wednesday, doubling in the second inning and swatting a solo homer in the fourth. THe Phillies would go on to win 7-5. Altogether, Bruce has come to the plate 11 times with the Phillies, racking up six hits of which two are doubles and three are homers.

The Phillies badly needed Bruce to produce. Along with McCutchen, the club is currently without injured outfielders Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens, and Odúbel Herrera remains on administrative leave due to a domestic violence incident. The club was so short on outfield depth that it promoted Adam Haseley after just six games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Haseley drove in the eventual game-winning run with a double on Wednesday afternoon.

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.