The longest home run hit in almost three years went out on Friday night. You know you want to watch it.
On Friday night, with the Marlins losing 5-4 to the Rockies in the top of the sixth and Josh Roenicke on the mound, Giancarlo Stanton hit an important home run. It wasn't important because it tied the game, although the Marlins would go on to win by one run. This was a matchup between two last-place teams, so the outcome was about as inconsequential as the outcomes of baseball games come. It was important because it looked like this:
If these guys didn't hit the ball out of the park, they probably weren't scoring.
In our earlier look at players who were immune to scoring runs, reader blocher asked about guys who hit a lot of home runs but otherwise didn't score much. He mentioned Andre Dawson's 1987 campaign, in which Dawson hit 49 homers but scored only 90 runs.
Every team has a different TV announcer, and every TV announcer calls home runs differently. This is an attempt to classify all of those calls.
Every so often you’ll hear some stupid fact about genetic similarities between humans and, like, pigs. Did you know that humans and pigs share 90 percent of DNA, according to unreliable sources on the Internet? See, you just heard a stupid fact about genetic similarities between humans and pigs. It happens every so often, if you hang around me.
Broadcasters are like that. They all share most of the same DNA. They say mostly the same words, and they say them with mostly the same inflection, and they know mostly the same things. It’s those few percent that differ that separate them, and those few percent that differ make a very big difference.
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What do pitchers look like just after allowing one of the longest home runs of the season?
If we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that people enjoy watching home runs go far. We didn't actually learn that from the Home Run Derby. We knew that all along! It is a pretty well-established thing about baseball. I suppose we could just as easily say if we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that large physical bodies such as the earth create an attractive pull whereby things that are flung up in the air will be drawn back down, the distance of flight correlating to the force exerted on the object. If you knew nothing before the Home Run Derby, you learned about gravity, and you learned that people enjoy watching big home runs. This is an introductory paragraph, and it is complete.
There is one small subset of the population we might not expect would enjoy watching big home runs: the pitchers who allow those home runs. We might not expect them to enjoy watching big home runs, but maybe they do. Maybe they have perspective on the thing. Maybe they appreciate the aesthetics of a baseball soaring impossibly deep into the sky. Maybe they're fans, just like you. Maybe not. I honestly don't know.
Ivan Nova allowed a home run to Kirk Nieuwenhuis on Saturday, but the pitch was exactly where he wanted it.
Ivan Nova leads the major leagues with 46 extra-base hits allowed. Many of them were mistakes. This one, a solo homer by Kirk Niewenhuis in the third inning of the Yankees-Mets game on Saturday, was not.
Michael Bourn had a career day playing at Great American Ballpark.
The Tuesday Takeaway Brandon Beachy came into yesterday’s game against the Reds having allowed just one home run in 54 innings this season. Great American Ball Park took care of that. Michael Bourn came into yesterday’s game against the Reds having hit just one home run in 201 plate appearances this season. Great American Ball Park took care of that, too.
By the time the Reds were celebrating their 4-3 win, Beachy had served up three long balls—a pair to Brandon Phillips and one to Zack Cozart—and Bourn had mashed two. Beachy’s home-runs-allowed figure had quadrupled. Bourn’s home-runs-hit mark had tripled.
The Orioles wrap up a bizarrely historic week with a start from Colby Lewis unlike any we've seen before.
The Orioles have had a bizarrely historic week. On Sunday, 1B/DH Chris Davis picked up the first pitching win by a position player in the American League since Rocky Colavito did it in 1968 against the Boston Red Sox. When the Sox sent Darnell McDonald (another former Oriole) to the mound after him in the top of the 17th inning, it was the first time both teams had used a position player as a reliever since 1925, and it was the first time two position players had gotten a decision since 1902. Until Davis's afternoon, a 0-8, 5K, GIDP day at the plate combined with a pitching win hadn't happened since 1905.
Albert Pujols says he's not worried about his homerless streak because "home runs come in bunches." But is there any truth to the cliche?
If you’ve paid any attention to the 2012 season, you know that Albert Pujols has yet to hit a home run. The three-time MVP, fresh off the first homerless month of his career, is hitting just .208/.252/.287 with career-worst walk and strikeout rates. Jered Weaver’s no-hitter last night temporarily deflected some attention away from Albert’s struggles. But while Weaver mowed down Minnesota, Pujols’ homerless streak was extended to 107 plate appearances, ensuring that scrutiny of his every swing will only intensify once the no-hitter hubbub dies down.
Pujols averaged 39 home runs for the Cardinals over the past five seasons. After factoring in some age-related decline and the difficulty of hitting home runs from the right side in Angel Stadium, PECOTA projected him to hit 33 in 2012. The probability that a 33-home-run hitter would go homerless over 107 plate appearances by chance alone is just .3 percent. Either Pujols has been extremely unlucky, he’s declined more quickly than PECOTA expected, or he’s pressing at the plate.
The tater trots for April 22: a short day for home runs, with only ten hit across the league.
Three games on the East Coast were postponed on Sunday. And I do mean the whole coast; games in Boston, New York, and D.C. were postponed. That's not an isolated storm. Still, that means there were 12 games played throughout the league yesterday, but, somehow, only 10 home runs were hit. That's pretty remarkable. It's just one of those things that happens in a 162-game schedule, I suppose.
The tater trots for April 18: Hanley Ramirez continues his assault on la máquina jonrón and Kevin Youkilis proves how his head isn't in the game.
I was at the Brewers/Dodgers game last night, watching from above as Don Mattingly brought in a fifth infielder to try and prevent a second consecutive walk-off win for Milwaukee. Sure, Nyjer Morgan really should have been called out at the plate (a terrible slide and a terrible tag add up to some umpire confusion, I suppose), but it was an incredibly exciting game. I was glad to be there.