NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mets slugger Pete Alonso has hit his 53rd home run of the season, breaking the rookie record Yankees star Aaron Judge set in 2017.
Alonso hit a 93 mph fastball on a 1-2 count from Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz just to the right of straightaway center field on Saturday night. A 24-year-old earned extended standing ovations from the adoring crowd of 32,210 at Citi Field during the New York Mets’ 3-0 win over the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
❄️🐻❄️🐻 ❄️🐻❄️🐻 pic.twitter.com/v7gUjhzDNQ
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 29, 2019
As the 415-foot drive landed in the seats, Alonso raised both arms in triumph while running to first base, and Mets teammates came out of the dugout to congratulate the 24-year-old first baseman. Fans at Citi Field gave him a standing ovation, and Alonso raised both arms, tilted his head back and looked skyward as he stood in front of the dugout.
“I was just kind of thinking about all the greats in the game of baseball. I was thinking about guys like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, guys like Aaron Judge,” Alonso said, “and the fact that I’m ahead of those guys as a rookie, it’s mind-blowing.”
Overcome with emotion, Alonso had tears in his eyes when he went to first base in the fourth inning.
“It was like an out of body experience, it was just awesome,” Alonso’s father, Pete told reporters during the game.
“He’s always been passionate. I was certainly bawling in my seat, it was a family cry-fest,” the slugger’s mother, Michelle, said when asked about Alonso’s rare emotional display after the history-making blast.
Alonso has already set franchise records for homers, total bases (347) and extra-base hits (85). He has 120 RBIs and 102 runs, becoming the first Mets rookie to reach triple digits in both categories. The home run was his 11th of September.
Steven Matz (11-10) allowed two hits and five walks in six innings, finishing with a winning record for the first time since his first full season in 2016. Jeurys Familia, Brad Brach and Edwin Díaz finished the three-hitter. Diaz struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 26th save in 33 chances, his first save since Aug. 15 — also against the Braves.
Mike Soroka (13-4) goes Sunday for the Braves in a tuneup for his playoff start. RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-8) pitches for the Mets in what could be his final start in New York as trade rumors continue to swirl around the inconsistent right-hander.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)