CHICAGO — Since 1983, Darryl Strawberry had stood alone as the most prolific power-hitting rookie in the history of the Mets. His 26 home runs that season set the standard for all of the homegrown standouts who have come since — the David Wrights and Todd Hundleys, the Edgardo Alfonzos and Michael Confortos.
In his first season, Pete Alonso needed less than three months to set a new standard.
Alonso hit his 27th homer, breaking the franchise rookie record, as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 5-3, on Sunday.
“I’m proud of it,” a subdued Alonso said after the Mets blew a late lead. “But I wish we won today.”
Strawberry congratulated Alonso in a statement issued by the Mets.
“What he’s done in a short period of time is most impressive,” Strawberry said. “No goal seems out of reach.”
Alonso’s 27th homer came in his 279th at-bat and his 77th game. Strawberry finished with 420 at-bats in 122 games in his rookie year.
Another major milestone is very much within reach: the Mets’ single-season homer mark. That is 41, set by Hundley in 1996 and tied by Carlos Beltran in 2006.
Alonso’s homer Sunday was a solo shot in the fourth inning off Cole Hamels, who in the first inning induced a double-play grounder from Alonso — offering a fascinating look into the fast-moving thought process of a major-league hitter.
“The first AB, he got me on some changeups,” Alonso said. “He got me to swing and miss on a changeup, then he got me to ground out into a double play with the changeup. He executed pitches well.
“He threw me two curveballs in the second at-bat to start off, then he thought he could go back [to the changeup] again, because it was a good pitch. Thankfully, I saw two of them in the previous at-bat. Saw it well enough and put a really good swing on it.”
With his fourth-inning solo homer Sunday, Pete Alonso set the Mets’ rookie home run record, eclipsing Darryl Strawberry’s mark of 26 set in 1983.
What records are next for the slugger?
Mets single-season home runs
41 Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltran (2006)
MLB rookie home run record
52 Aaron Judge (2017)
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.