Pete Alonso was competing for his third straight title in the Home Run Derby on Monday night at Dodger Stadium, but he ultimately missed out on history.
Alonso was looking to become the first player to win three consecutive Derby crowns, and just the second to win three titles in total, which would have seen him join the Hall of Famer company. Ken Griffey Jr.
Alonso had a former Mets bench coach David Jauss as a practice batting pitcher for the second straight year, but didn’t have the same luck as last summer.
After beating the Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. with 20 first-round homers, the Mets first baseman was seen doing 135-pound deadlifts in the weight room in preparation for the semifinals.
But in round 2, Alonso struggled to find his rhythm, finishing with just 23 homers between regulation time and extra time. It wasn’t enough to top the rookie phenom by Julio Rodriguez 31 long balls.
“It was special. He absolutely showed what a Home Run Derby should be,” Alonso said of Rodriguez, via SNY.
Alonso, who won the last two derbies in 2019 and 2021, holds the record for most home runs in a single lap (35). Rodriguez nearly surpassed that in the first (32) and second (31) rounds on Monday night, before knocking out “the polar bear.”
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As impressive as Rodriguez was, he was overtaken by Juan Sotowho has been embroiled in a massive amount of trade rumors since news emerged over the weekend that he rejected the Washington Nationals’ 15-year, $440 million extension offer.
So will Alonso return next year to try to become the second player to win three Derby crowns?
“If I’m healthy and willing and able, then absolutely,” Alonso said, via SNY.
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