As amazing as Pete Alonso was, Dave Jauss deserves (and received) recognition

By , Audacy Sports

Pete Alonso could do no wrong on Monday night at the 2021 Home Run Derby. He belted a first-round record 35 home runs to kick things off, and he'd ultimately need the majority of those seeing as Salvador Perez had 28 of his own in a nice effort. He won the second round with ease over Juan Soto, who was probably a little bit drained after his epic standoff with Shohei Ohtani. And he was able to overcome a strong finish from Trey Mancini (22 home runs in final round) with six blasts in a row in his extra minute of HR-slugging action.

Perhaps the only person who had as dead-on a night as Alonso was the man feeding him meatball after meatball: New York Mets bench coach Dave Jauss. The 64-year-old tried his hand in the Derby previously — 22 years ago, as a matter of fact, which Darren Rovell says is the longest gap between pitching appearances at the event — though the man he pitched to, Nomar Garciaparra, only had two home runs total. Maybe he had been honing his craft for the past two-plus decades. Maybe it was just a good night, though Jauss later said he "can close [his] eyes and hit a spot." Whatever the case, the meatball-pitching extraordinaire was locked in, and Alonso knew that he deserved a round of applause as well.

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"He was putting it right in the breadbasket, right in the honey hole, right in the sweet spot of my swing," Alonso said (via Tyler Kepner of The New York Times). "That’s what we worked on in practice. He’s my everyday B.P. thrower and to be able to come out on top like this is really special, not just for me, but for him."

Others were there for Jauss, too, taking to social media to acknowledge just how impressive the coach's poise was.

There was one slip-up — Jauss hit Alonso with a pitch, which was bizarre considering how impeccable his accuracy had been otherwise — but it fortunately didn't affect Alonso all that much. 74 home runs later, the two made a devastating team and are likely going to be HR Derby favorites for the foreseeable future.

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