Sixty-four games into his career, New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso is putting on power displays that are drawing comparisons to the 52 homers Aaron Judge hit in his first season for the New York Yankees in 2017.
Alonso will get his first taste of the annual Subway Series on Tuesday afternoon when the Mets oppose the Yankees for the start of a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
Before Monday's scheduled game was postponed due to rain, Alonso was slated to bat third and be the designated hitter for the Mets. He enters this series hitting .258 with 21 homers and 46 RBI. He leads all rookies in homers and is five shy of the Mets' rookie record set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983.
"There's a confidence that comes with him, and he's delivered on that," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He's gone and taken that job, and he looks like he's going to be a staple in their lineup for a long time. As an opponent, we've got to execute or he can hurt you."
Alonso hit his latest homer Saturday in a 5-3 win over Colorado, and the Mets capped a 4-2 homestand by getting a 6-1 win Sunday, their 12th win in 20 games since manager Mickey Callaway was given a vote of confidence by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
The Mets (32-33) will be trying to get to .500 for the first time since May 28 but also are 4-17 in their last 21 road games.
"We need to get to a point where we could get above .500 and start adding on," Callaway said Monday afternoon. "That's the thing that's kind of eluded us."
Wins eluded the Yankees in the last week as they are coming off their worst week in two months. They are 2-5 in their last seven games but ended a six-game road trip with Sunday's 7-6 win at Cleveland when Aaron Hicks hit the tiebreaking double in the 10th inning.
Masahiro Tanaka (3-5, 3.42 ERA) will start the opener followed by James Paxton (3-2, 2.11 ERA) for the Yankees, who are playing their third doubleheader of the season.
Zack Wheeler (5-3, 4.61 ERA) will start the first game for the Mets, and he will be followed by Jason Vargas (2-3, 3.57)
Tanaka was activated from the paternity list Monday following the birth of his second child and will pitch on seven days' rest after allowing four runs on six hits in the Yanks' 4-3 loss at Toronto on June 4.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.
Paxton will make his third start since coming off the injured list after missing three weeks with left knee inflammation.
Paxton's only previous appearance against the Mets was July 30, 2017, in Seattle when he allowed six hits in six scoreless innings.
Wheeler is making his second career start against the Yankees and first since May 13, 2014, when he allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Vargas owns a 1.85 ERA in his last seven starts. He has not allowed more than six hits in that stretch and has surrendered one run or fewer six times.
The veteran left-hander is 0-7 with a 6.84 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) against the Yankees. He last faced the Yankees on May 22, 2017, when he allowed three runs in six innings of a 4-2 loss for the Kansas City Royals.
The Yankees lead the all-time series 69-49.
--Field Level Media
Alonso ... the next Judge? Mets, Yanks to play two
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