8/19/19 – Weekend In Review: More Records, More Milestones, and Some Serious Girl Power
Ah, 2019. The year of the home runs. Records being smashed left and right. Milestones abound. Blah blah blah. I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over each time I post, because these players keep going bigger and better this season. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights, shall we?
Pete Alonzo is a Home Run Machine
Remember way back last month when Pete Alonzo beat Baby Vlad in the Home Run Derby? Well, his appearance in the slug-fest hasn’t slowed him down, as the Mets 1B set a new NL Record for the most home runs hit by a rookie with his 40th bomb of the season. Unfortunately for Alonzo, he did so with about 47 people in attendance at Kauffman Stadium, as most of the Royals fans had already left the ballpark after the 7th inning as KC blew their 4-3 lead to make it a 9-4 Mets lead.
Remember also way back last month when people basically expected the Mets to trade away Noah Syndergaard and wave the white flag on the season? Instead, they showed that they weren’t quite done with 2019 yet, and went and acquired Marcus Stroman, thus bolstering their pitching staff around a heap of young talent. New York is now just 2 games out of a Wild Card spot, tied with the Brewers, hot on the heels of the Cubs in the #2 spot.
The hype surrounding 24-year-old Alonzo has been building all season, and on Sunday, he showed everyone why he’s a front runner for Rookie of the Year. He passed the Dodgers current badass Cody Bellnger’s record of 39 that he set during his own ROY season in 2017. Now, he just has to catch Aaron Judge’s 2017 record of 51 long balls to be the all time MLB leader in rookie home runs. Congratulations, Petey!
Zack Greinke, Still a Certified Badass
I’ve always had a soft spot for Zack Greinke. He’s a fantastic pitcher who prefers to play in smaller markets (a rarity these days!). He also prefers to stay out of the limelight, having openly battled anxiety and depression. I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be helping his Houston Astros make it deep into the post season. Along the way to greatness, he has quietly amassed a ton of Hall of Fame worthy stats, including:
- Winning the Cy Young in 2009, earning 16 wins with a MLB leading 2.16 ERA
- 19 wins and a MLB leading teensy ERA of 1.66 and 0.844 WHIP in 2015, coming up just short of a 2nd Cy Young (narrowly losing out to Jake Arrieta)
- Gold Glove winner from 2014 – 2018
- 6 time all star (2009, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
And now he can add 200 game winner to that already impressive list of accomplishments.
Greinke is just one of three active pitchers with 200 wins under his belt, joining teammate Justin Verlander (219) and Yankees veteran CC Sabathia (251). With CC about to head for the retirement home at the end of the season, it’ll just be Greinke and Verlander leading active players career wins in 2020, with Jon Lester likely up next to hit the 200 game milestone (187).
He’s got a long way to go if he wants to catch Cy Young himself with his 511 wins. Which, to be honest, could never be reached with the way the game is played today. The top 7 leaders are all old-timey players that pitched in an era of baseball in which pitchers pitched pretty much the whole game, so you’d have to look to Greg Maddux and his 355 wins as the closest record any starting pitcher would be able to chase.
Pitching Like a Girl is Pitching Like a Boss
While I’m talking about badasses, I’ve been meaning to take a moment to congratulate Little Leaguer Maddie Freking on her amazing baseball ability and her appearance in the Little League World Series. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s a Minnesota girl, if it’s because I’m a mom of baseball and softball players, if it’s because she’s the first girl in 5 years to appear in the LLWS, or if it’s because she’s just SO good, I’m just so unbelievably proud of this kid.
Take a look at some of her LLWS badassery:
Struck him out looking, then makes a play for the highlight reel.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2019
Congratulations, Maddie! I hope that one day you make it to The Show.