Heading into Monday’s Home Run Derby, the most home runs ever hit by a competitor in a single round was 28. That record was broken with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s first-round total of 29, but it was the second round matchup of Vlad Jr. and Joc Pederson that really brought the fireworks in Cleveland.
That round saw the two sluggers tied at 29 after their four minutes (and 30 bonus seconds) of regular time, then required three tie-breaker rounds as Guerrero Jr. and Pederson keep matching one another’s outputs. Ultimately, it was Vladdy Jr. outlasting Joc by the slimmest of margins, 40-39.
That’s right…79 home runs hit in a single second-round matchup. We must protect these two (and this Home Run Derby format) at all costs.
The real winner was everyone watching, though, as it was tremendous theater at one of baseball’s marquee events. It felt like it was never going to end, and it seemed like no one really wanted it to.
Unfortunately for Pete Alonso and Ronald Acuna Jr, they had the unenviable task of having to follow the riveting showdown between Vlad and Joc. They didn’t even come close to hitting 80 between the two of them.