The next night after a big home run day like Tuesday's is always a letdown. From Josh Hamilton's four home runs to only twelve home runs hit leaguewide? Yeah, that's going to feel a bit boring. And it might even be a legitimate feeling – if it weren't for one special trot last night.
Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay Rays – 29.38 seconds [video]
With the Rays down by one in the ninth inning, Joyce sent a ball pitched out of the hands of fill-in closer David Robertson over the rightfield fence. The three-run homer gave Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead they wouldn't relinquish. That can most certainly be enough to be Home Run of the Day occasionally, but the real reason for that honor is Matt Joyce's ankle. As he swung the bat, Joyce repositioned his feet to get into a running motion. When he did so, however, his left ankle twisted badly on something, sending Joyce to the ground. The ball was hardly a no-doubter (Hit Tracker Online classified it as "Just Enough" , saying it would be a home run in only one other park around the league) so Joyce was forced to get up as quickly as he could and sprint down the basepath. If it bounced off the wall, for example, Joyce would need all the speed he could muster to get to second.
Thankfully for Joyce, the ball cleared the fence by about ten rows or so, giving him a little break on his trot. Even so, Joyce's trot was impressively fast. This isn't the first time during the Tater Trot Tracker era that a player injured himself at the start of a trot. When Luis Hernandez broke his foot on a foul ball in September 2010 and then hit a home run on the next pitch he saw, he rounded the bases in 33.08 seconds. Earlier that year, Baltimore's Luke Scott pulled his hamstring rounding first base on his own wallscraper. Scott hobbled around the Camden Yards basepaths in 35.76 seconds, still the slowest time recorded. Jim Edmonds also pulled a hamstring on what would end up being his final career at-bat. However, the injury didn't come until he had reached third base, so his trot time was a slightly quicker 28.24 seconds.
All things considered, Joyce's 29.38 second trot was pretty fast, even if it is the slowest trot of the year so far. I just wonder how slow it might have been if the ball had been more of a no-doubter.
Quickest Trot: Chris Johnson, Houston Astros – 19.92 seconds [video]
The only trot of the night to come in under 20 seconds. Johnson's blast came off Miami pitcher Josh Johnson. This prompted the Houston broadcaster to exclaim "Score it it 1-0 Astros in the battle of the Johnsons."
All of Today's Trots Matt Joyce.........29.38 Allen Craig........23.75 JP Arencibia.......23.72 Adam Dunn..........23.37 Josh Willingham....22.88 Ike Davis..........22.56 Ryan Braun.........22.1 Adam Lind..........21.5 Andres Torres......20.82 Edwin Encarnacion..20.79 Andrew McCutchen...20.6 Chris Johnson......19.92