Pete Alonso was competing for his third straight Home Run Derby title on Monday night at Dodger Stadium, but he ultimately came up short of history.
Alonso was looking to become the first player to ever win three consecutive Derby crowns, and just the second to win three titles overall, which would’ve seen him join the company of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.
Alonso had ex-Mets bench coach Dave Jauss as his batting practice pitcher for the second straight year, but did not find the same luck as last summer.
After edging out Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. with 20 home runs in round 1, the Mets’ first baseman was seen doing 135-pound deadlifts in the weight room in preparation of the semi-finals.
But in round 2, Alonso struggled to find his rhythm, finishing with just 23 homers between regular and bonus time. This was not enough to surpass rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez’s 31 long balls.
“That was special. He put on an absolute display of 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 homers in a single-round (35). Rodriguez nearly topped that in the first (32) and second rounds (31) on Monday night, before eliminating the “Polar Bear.”
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As impressive as Rodriguez was, he was edged out by Juan Soto, who has been involved in a massive amount of trade rumors since the news emerged over the weekend that he rejected the Washington Nationals’ 15-year, $440 million extension offer.
So will Alonso run it back next year to try to become the second player to win three Derby crowns?
“If I’m healthy and I’m willing and able, then absolutely,” Alonso said, via SNY.