Just one day after he tied Aaron Judge‘s single-season rookie home run record, Mets phenom Pete Alonso broke away with home run no. 53 to establish himself as the all-time rookie home run leader.
The historic moment came in the bottom of the third inning of Saturday’s game against the Braves, close on the heels of Rene Rivera‘s own two-run blast against Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz. With the bases empty and two outs, Alonso worked a 2-1 count against the right-hander, then clocked a 414-footer out to the right field stands for his record-setting 53rd home run of the year.
As MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo pointed out minutes later, Alonso’s jaw-dropping record doesn’t just set him apart from his peers, but from all MLB players:
Of those nine, only five have hit 53 or more home runs in a single season since 2001. Giancarlo Stanton was the last to do it, eclipsing Alonso’s mark with 59 home runs for the Marlins in 2017. Surpassing the all-time record still presents a significant challenge, however, as no one’s come anywhere close to Barry Bonds’ 73-homer record since he set it with the Giants back in 2001.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.