There were only ten games on the slate yesterday and only 17 home runs hit league-wide. And though there weren't many home runs to watch, there were still plenty of meaningful blasts. From Justin Morneau hitting a home run in his first game in the field to Matt Wieters' tenth-inning grand slam, there was plenty of excitement to go around, shortened schedule of not.
Now let's get to those trots!
Home Run of the Day: Kendrys Morales, Los Angeles Angels – 25.09 seconds [video]
The last time Kendrys Morales hit a home run in a Major League game, it was a tenth-inning, walkoff grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. Morales sped around the bases (in only 22.32 seconds) and did the typical jumping-into-a-pile-of-teammates things ballplayers like to do these days. Except this one was different, as Morales landed on the plate wrong and broke his lower left leg. That grand slam was on May 29, 2010, nearly two full years ago. Monday night was Morales' ninth game back at the big league level since that home run and this was his first home run since that day.
Morales wouldn't be playing baseball right now if the doctors hadn't cleared him as ready to run the bases, so there is nothing mechanically significant about this home run. Mentally, however, it must mean a great deal to a man who nearly ended his career the last time he made that trot (especially considering just how similar the two home runs looked). When Morales stepped on that plate with his left foot 25.09 seconds after making contact, you could practically see the weight lift off of his shoulders.
Slowest Trot: AJ Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox – 26.17 seconds [video]
A high, towering flyball down the rightfield line that could just as easily landed foul as it did fair. Home runs with that kind of fair/foul uncertainty tend to have slower trots than others (because the batter is standing at the plate waiting to know if it's fair), but it still isn't enough to excuse Pierzynski's 26 second trot.
Quickest Trot: Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers – 18.12 seconds [video]
Austin Jackson was traded to the Tigers, in part, for Curtis Granderson. It's fitting, then, to see the two speedy centerfielders in the #1 and #2 slots in Monday's home runs. Jackson was the clear winner, however, touching home plate in 18.12 seconds compared to Granderson's 18.83. Gerardo Parra, who smashed a ball into the Chase Field jacuzzi, was the next fastest trotter at 19.04 seconds.
All of Today's Trots AJ Pierzynski......26.17 Jason Bay..........20.92 Kendrys Morales....25.09 Nolan Reimold......20.28 Ike Davis..........24.79 Adam Jones.........20.09 Matt Wieters #1....23.15 Derek Jeter........19.86 Wilson Ramos.......23.12 Aaron Hill.........19.58 Chris Young........22.1 Gerardo Parra......19.04 Brandon Inge.......21.86 Curtis Granderson..18.83 Justin Morneau.....21.23 Austin Jackson.....18.12 Matt Wieters #2....21.19
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