The Cinderella season for Pete Alonso continues with his incredible performance during the 2019 All Star Week in Cleveland. Alonso showed off his legendary power by winning the T-Mobile Home Run Derby against the favorite Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in walk off fashion.
As if that wasn’t enough, Alonso added to his amazing week by accumulating a hit, two RBI’s, and a great scoop in the All-Star Game the very next day.
Alonso’s Home Run Derby debut started off slow, only hitting 14 home runs to just edge out the hometown slugger Carlos Santana. Alonso explained “The first round we got the jitters out,” but “I think we figured it out after the first timeout in that first round.”
With Alonso only putting 14 out of the park in the first round it allowed him to conserve his energy, which played a critical role in his victory.
Alonso had a much tougher order to fill with the reigning N.L. Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr. set to battle against him. Acuna put on a show blasting 19 home runs to all parts of the field and putting the pressure on Alonso. Sure enough, Alonso was up to the challenge blasting 20 of his own to make it to the finals against the powerful Vlad Jr.
With Vlad Jr. shattering the record for home runs in an epic swing off in the round before with 40, it didn’t seem to be good for Alonso. Already hitting 69 home runs on the night Vlad came out of the gate tired and fatigued, putting up only 22 home runs to try and win it.
Coming out strong, Alonso sent 18 balls over the fence in the first three minutes, well on his way to a win. With only 18 seconds left before the bonus time, Alonso sent number 23 deep into the night to become only the second rookie ever to win the Home Run Derby.
Alonso’s final total of home runs on the night was 57 which was third most in derby history. His total didn’t come close to Vlad’s 91 home runs but Alonso’s stamina and pace gave him the edge. “Survive and advance, you need to come out with a killer instinct” Alonso said “ It doesn’t matter how many you hit, you just need to have one more than the guy you verse.”
Alonso surely took his own advice by having that killer instinct and defeating every opponent he faced by one home run to claim the $1 million dollar prize and title of Home Run Derby champ.
The very next day Alonso came to the ballpark as a National League All-Star. Although he wasn’t a starter Alonso made his mark known when he finally came into the game. With the A.L. threatening to pull away with the lead in the top of the 8th Alonso stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. Pistol Pete doing what he does best, he delivered with a two out two RBI single up the middle to cut the lead to 4-3. Unfortunately that would be the last runs the N.L. could muster up and eventually lost 4-3.
After the game Alonso was asked about his stellar week in Cleveland and said “If you would have told me I’d go 1 for 2 with two steaks (RBI’s) and take home a Home Run Derby championship, well that’s a hell of a week.”
Alonso not only had a hell of a week, but a hell of a first half, I’m sure I’m speaking for many baseball fans around the league when I say I can’t wait to see what’s next for the rookie slugger from Queens.