CHICAGO — Lest we forget because it happened so long ago — almost two years/most of one pandemic ago — here is a reminder: Pete Alonso is the defending Home Run Derby champion.
And, he revealed Thursday, he has every intention of going for the repeat in this year’s competition, July 12 at Coors Field in Denver.
"Oh, I'm all in," Alonso said. "I'm ready. Whenever, if I get invited, I'd love to do it. I'd love to defend my title."
In 2019, Alonso bested Vladimir Guerrero Jr., his fellow rookie phenom, in the finals. Last year’s edition was canceled by the pandemic. Now, he’ll look to make it two titles in as many chances, seeking to maintain his reputation as one of baseball’s preeminent sluggers.
Also aiding that reputation: He led the majors with a 100-mph average hit speed heading into the Mets’ series finale with the Cubs on Thursday.
His longest batted ball came Wednesday night, when he hit a home run clear out of Wrigley Field. MLB’s movement-measuring technology — Statcast — said it went 429 feet. Unsolicited, Alonso expressed skepticism, saying he got "snubbed" by that distance.
"That ball did not go 429 feet," Alonso said unsolicited, noting that it was one of his top-five favorite homers. "That’s what the computer says, and I think the computer is wrong."
The Mets called up righthander Sean Reid-Foley, one of the players received from the Blue Jays for Steven Matz in January. They sent down righthander Trevor Hildenberger in his place.
Reid-Foley, who was already with the Mets as part of the taxi squad, tossed three perfect innings and struck out four Cubs.
That was a standard transaction to add a rested reliever to the bullpen. Hildenberger threw 44 pitches in 1 1/3 innings Wednesday.
Although it will be a Friday night home game, the Mets will not wear their black jerseys against the Nationals. The team has not announced when that will start . . . Acting general manager Zack Scott will hold a video news conference pregame Friday, part of his new first-day-of-the-homestand routine.
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