Pete Alonso hit home run number 45 on the season Friday night versus the Cincinnati Reds. It tied up the game at 3-3. It gave the New York Mets yet another chance to pull the rug out from under a playoff contender.
The Mets ended up losing (draft pick!) but Alonso managed to join his fellow Big Apple slugger on an exclusive list.
The 45 home run mark isn’t as romantic as hitting 50 but apparently it’s just as rare. For there to be only two players in the league active right now who’ve reached it in a season is quite remarkable. In the late 1990s, there were guys hitting 45 and finishing with 1% of the MVP vote. It’s a little different in today’s world.
Despite several shortcomings this year, Alonso has remained one of the league’s most powerful sluggers. The 45 home runs moved him ahead of Shohei Ohtani for the second most in Major League Baseball. Only Matt Olson who has suddenly exploded this year has more, currently with 51.
Alonso has already proven he is the most prolific Mets home run hitter of all-time. All he’ll need is time to catch Darryl Strawberry for the franchise lead. His 45th of 2023 was number 191 of his career. This has him ranked fifth in Mets history with Howard Johnson as the next guy to pass at 192.
The start to Alonso’s career shouldn’t be understated. His home run pace is one of the best in the history of the game. And as one commenter points out, this includes a shortened season of only 60 games.
If there was any doubt why Mets fans are so attached to Alonso, it’s the rarity of his power that furthers the case against trading him. Where is the time going to find anyone who can change the game as quickly as he can with a single swing?