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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

D-backs, Phillies set MLB record with 13 homers

WOW!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2019 at 08:07 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, phillies

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5850467)
Only 21 total runs scored though. When I saw the headline I was expecting a lot more.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5850472)
Hooray.

   3. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5850502)
The link is wonky. This one should work.
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5850504)
From TFA:
The previous Major League record of 12 was held by the Tigers and White Sox -- who did it against each other twice, on May 28, 1995, at Tiger Stadium, and again on July 2, 2002, at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox home ballpark was called Comiskey Park (or New Comiskey or Comiskey II) in 2002. No retrofitting new names onto older stadiums!
   5. TomH Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5850515)
I'm surprised the record was not the famous Phils 23 Cubs 22 game in the 1970s. But that only had 11 dingers (3 by Kingman, 2 from Schmidt).
   6. Rally Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5850545)
I get that one mixed up with Schmidt's 4 homer game, also in Wrigley. That game was in 1976, featured 9 homers, and the score was only 18-16.

For his career Schmidt played 134 games in Wrigley with 50 homers and a .653 SLG.
   7. Lance Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5850552)
I was at the game that the Reds set the NL record for most HR in a game, 9, in September 1999. I went on a whim to that Reds-Phillies game and saw some history in that 22-3 rout.
   8. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 11, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5850563)
[7] I was also at that game. The Reds had a very balanced offense that year, which really showed in that game.
   9. JAHV Posted: June 11, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5850571)
I'm not even impressed by this any more. Heck, I'm surprised this record hadn't been broken already. I expect it to be broken again next week. Chicks might dig the long ball, but I'm decidedly meh on it at this point.
   10. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 11, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5850589)
MLB is on pace for 6,550 home runs this year. That would beat the record (set in 2017) by about 450, and would be close to 1,000 more than last year.
   11. John DiFool2 Posted: June 11, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5850602)
Annnd 26.4% of all PA now end with a home run or strikeout, an all-time high of course.

I shudder to think what the sport will look like in the year 2100...
   12. Tin Angel Posted: June 11, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5850662)
On Buster Olney’s ESPN podcast, they start with yesterday’s highlights, 90% of which are inevitably the local broadcaster breathlessly describing a home run. “And that one is...way outtta here!!” Not only is it annoying, it is extraordinarily boring to listen to. I just skip the entire segment now.
   13. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 11, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5850717)
I shudder to think what the sport will look like in the year 2100...

Not sure about 2100... but we already know what it will look like in 3000.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: June 11, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5850725)
I shudder to think what the sport will look like in the year 2100...

Water polo.
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 11, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5850760)
I had an intramural softball game like this, we moved the game due to a power outage, the lights failed. The fence was like 200 something. We played four innings, 20 something to 20 something. Sent dudes behind the fence to collect the taters. Stupid.
   16. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: June 11, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5850768)
OOF!
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404 Not Found: /news/d-backs-and-phillies-set-mlb-home-run-record2019 Jump leaders (leaderboard) 3.0 feet above average -- Kevin Kiermaier, Rays 2.9 feet above average -- Guillermo Heredia, Rays 2.0 feet above average -- Leury Garcia, White Sox 1.9 feet above average -- Robbie Grossman, A's 1.7 feet above average -- Harrison Bader, Cardinals 1.7 feet above average -- Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox 1.5 feet above average -- Ender Inciarte, Braves 1.4 feet above average -- Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
   17. Davo Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5850772)
We who don’t like this style of baseball....well MLB heard our complaints and then dismissed them. We lost. Oh well gotta try to make the best of it.
   18. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5850781)
MLB is on pace for 6,550 home runs this year. That would beat the record (set in 2017) by about 450, and would be close to 1,000 more than last year.
Holy ####.
   19. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5850789)
There must be other sports to watch in the summer. Anyone?
   20. PreservedFish Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:06 PM (#5850791)
The young Cuban hulk that the Astros just called up just homered on one of those swings where you just kind of flail at the ball in order to make contact with two strikes.
   21. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5850801)
There must be other sports to watch in the summer. Anyone?

You've got the next 33 days to enjoy lawn tennis.

(#### Newport)
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 11, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5850802)
The ball is juiced beyond Bondesque amounts. It used to be that a roided up Canseco was the only type of player you'd see consistently hit opposite field homers.
Now you get random middle infielder reaching for a ball on the outside corner who makes ok contact and the ball flies out...it's a joke.
   23. Davo Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5850808)
More home runs have been hit this year than were hit in 1976.
   24. frannyzoo Posted: June 11, 2019 at 11:54 PM (#5850818)
Those who have left watching baseball obviously aren't here. I just dropped by to tell you that (and lurk the OT Soccer thread with occasional post). Not that you didn't already know, but...
   25. Lest we forget Posted: June 12, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5851078)
It's a trap!

Really ... it's a trap!

And the Phillies new toy didn't hit one of them!
   26. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5851090)
How I hate homeruns, let me count the ways:

1. They're an aesthetic monstrosity. There's a swing, and then... jogging.
2. They're an unfun deus ex machina. There's no foreshadowing (beyond having a bad pitcher or a good hitter), there's no buildup, they are just a sudden change in the score.
3. They're arbitrary. Lately this is what has bothered me most about them. One inch shorter and it's an out, one inch further and you get the best possible outcome. They introduce an offensive kind of randomness into the game; not that it isn't random otherwise, but homeruns are especially serious offenders, and especially conspicuous.
4. They're the most individual of accomplishments in a sport that is ostensibly a team sport. Indeed, other than the opposing pitcher, neither the rest of the offensive team nor the defensive team is involved in a homerun at all.
   27. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5851096)
3. They're arbitrary. Lately this is what has bothered me most about them. One inch shorter and it's an out, one inch further and you get the best possible outcome.


Sounds like you're describing the last pitch of game 7 of the 1962 WS, except that wasn't a HR/not a HR. But every sport has such all or nothing plays determined by inches. one inch to the left and it's an incomplete pass. one inch to the right and it's a TD completion. one inch to the left and the ball hits the upright. one inch to the right and it's a game winning FG. Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, tennis... And as I mentioned, baseball has those in other than HR plays. Ever see a bases loaded line drive down the RF line which barely hits/misses the chalk?
   28. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5851099)
There must be other sports to watch in the summer. Anyone?

Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Boston and St. Louis is tonight. I've watched way more hockey this year than ever before, perhaps partially out of a subconscious dissatisfaction with baseball too. I've hardly watched any live baseball so far this season, for the first time since discovering MLB in the late 70's. I guess the NHL off-season will free up more time for me to watch baseball. The question is, "Will I?" and I don't know. I'm 51 and just entering MLB's prime demographic, and I find myself caring about it less than ever before.

Boston is riding the hot goaltending of Tuukka Rask, while St. Louis has the incredible backstory of having the worst record in the NHL on January 3 -- near the traditional midpoint of the season -- and now finding themselves one win away from skating the Cup.
   29. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5851195)
Yes, there is randomness elsewhere in baseball. It's just really extreme and conspicuous with homeruns.

There's probably some anywhere, but in some sports it's less of an issue. Think about running. Sure, false starts. But other than that, if you run the race one second faster, your time is one second better. The baseball analogue would be if you got bases based on how far you hit the ball.

But if I was dictator of baseball, I wouldn't do that, I'd just make anything that leaves the field of play a foul ball. Yeah, it wouldn't eliminate randomness (even of over the fence/not variety) but it would address the other problems. It would force players to swing for line drives instead of with an upper cut. We'd see a lot more players like Ichiro, who don't even run the risk of hitting it foul over the outfield wall. (Unless they want to.)
   30. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5851204)
1. They're an aesthetic monstrosity. There's a swing, and then... jogging.
2. They're an unfun deus ex machina. There's no foreshadowing (beyond having a bad pitcher or a good hitter), there's no buildup, they are just a sudden change in the score.
3. They're arbitrary. Lately this is what has bothered me most about them. One inch shorter and it's an out, one inch further and you get the best possible outcome. They introduce an offensive kind of randomness into the game; not that it isn't random otherwise, but homeruns are especially serious offenders, and especially conspicuous.
4. They're the most individual of accomplishments in a sport that is ostensibly a team sport. Indeed, other than the opposing pitcher, neither the rest of the offensive team nor the defensive team is involved in a homerun at all.


This goes way too far. Homeruns can be absolutely thrilling - but they need to come in the proper measure.

1. False. Watching a ball carry 400+ feet is itself a beautiful thing. A swing that connects perfectly is a beautiful thing.
2. By this logic there's no "foreshadowing" of any individual baseball event. Yes, rallies are fun, but the discrete box score events in baseball happen abruptly, it's not like soccer or basketball. Although it only takes about 4 seconds to resolve a homerun, those 4 seconds can pack a lot of punch, as in when the fielder backs up and we don't yet know if he'll have room to grab it. A triple, commonly called the most exciting play in the game, takes about 10 seconds to evolve.
3. As you say, this is true of every element of baseball. It's a game of inches. There's always an inch between ball or strike, safe or out, win or loss.
4. True, but as you say, baseball is in many ways only ostensibly a team sport. I happen to think that baseball has a nice blend of individual and team performance. Actually, it's my favorite sport.

When homeruns are cheap and plentiful, all of these things seem worse. A game with 7 homeruns can indeed seem like a boring series of individual events. But just one or two homeruns, and suddenly we're excited by those rare moments when an individual is able to exert himself on the game so much that he simply surmounts or bypasses that whole "team sport" thing.

   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5851209)
I disagree with #26.

2. They're an unfun deus ex machina. There's no foreshadowing (beyond having a bad pitcher or a good hitter), there's no buildup, they are just a sudden change in the score.

Not true. There is often anticipation of whether the ball will land fair or foul (remember Carlton Fisk waving his arms at the ball), whether it will clear the fence, whether the outfielder will catch it (remember Endy Chavez). The idea that home runs can't be exciting or suspenseful plays is simply not the case.

3. They're arbitrary. Lately this is what has bothered me most about them. One inch shorter and it's an out, one inch further and you get the best possible outcome. They introduce an offensive kind of randomness into the game; not that it isn't random otherwise, but homeruns are especially serious offenders, and especially conspicuous.

This is also not true. Sure, some home runs might have been outs if they didn't clear the fence, but many of them would hit the wall (or deflect off the outfielder) and be hits. We know this because many balls do, in fact, hit the wall or deflect off of the outfielder for hits.

But you're right that there are too many home runs and strikeouts today. Variety in the game is good and all of the HRs/Ks are reducing that variety.

Also, HRs and Ks reduce (but don't eliminate) the opportunity for great fielding plays. If you watch SportsCenter (or most highlight shows) in the morning, nearly all of the "Top 10 Plays" from baseball are great defensive plays, not home runs. Great fielding is very exciting and athletic, damned near artistic in many cases. MLB should encourage more of that.

I think the Ks are a bigger problem than the HRs. However, the two are obviously related so I don't think you can tackle one without the other.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5851224)

There's probably some anywhere, but in some sports it's less of an issue. Think about running. Sure, false starts. But other than that, if you run the race one second faster, your time is one second better. The baseball analogue would be if you got bases based on how far you hit the ball.

But running is actually not that interesting to watch if all you're watching for is whether someone will finish the mile in 3:53 or 3:54, or whether someone will finish the marathon in 2:05 or 2:06. What makes it more interesting is precisely the "game of inches" aspect -- when there is a close finish, when a runner is close to breaking a record and just gets it or just misses it, etc. Part of the excitement of sports is the randomness or arbitrariness of it.
   33. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 12, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5851230)
As Dave notes, HRs and Ks are inextricably linked. They are both fascist.

I'd just make anything that leaves the field of play a foul ball

Anything that penalizes a player for being really really good is...not to my taste. Players--at least some of them--have been trying to hit the ball hard and far for as long as they've been playing the game. It used to be that only a few, a true elite, could accomplish this consistently. It happens way too often nowadays, and as many others have noted, by way too many players. Make the ball a little less resilient, those middle infielders hitting 20 homers a year now only have warning track power and are either adjusting their game or looking for a new line of work.

In my ideal world...
   34. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5851234)
The idea that homeruns and strikeouts are linked is pretty much false. The rise in Ks is driven largely by Sabermetrics showing that Ks aren't worse than other outs. So there's no incentive for hitters to avoid them. But pitchers don't (much) control the quality of batted balls, so they're driven to seek Ks. Thus ... Ks.

HRs are good, but if you took them away, players wouldn't start striking out less. A double and three strikeouts is still better than four groundouts to short.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5851242)
The idea that homeruns and strikeouts are linked is pretty much false. The rise in Ks is driven largely by Sabermetrics showing that Ks aren't worse than other outs. So there's no incentive for hitters to avoid them.


That's simply not true. Strikeouts are linked to exchanging swinging for contact for swinging for power (either on an individual level, or teams opting for those who specialize in the latter).

By the way, it didn't take sabermetrics to figure out that strikeouts aren't much worse than any other out. It's kind of baked into the equation. It's the equivalent of wondering whether death by hanging is worse than death by firing squad. When you hold for death, the rest* is kind of immaterial.

What's happened is that swinging and missing is not substantially worse, if at all, then putting the ball in play. While an at bat that ends with a ball in play will always be better than one that ends in a swing and miss (or looked-at strike), all balls in play end at bats, while strikes give you another chance for a positive outcome (hit or walk, primarily).

* Yes, strikeouts are marginally worse than other kinds of outs, but only other certain circumstances, and obviously, sometimes they can be better.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5851246)
...while strikes give you another chance for a positive outcome (hit or walk, primarily).

Well, the first two strikes do...

But yes, agree with everything else in your post. As it becomes easier to hit HRs, swinging for power (with a higher likelihood of a swinging strike) becomes more attractive relative to swinging for contact. If you make swinging for the fences into a less attractive outcome, players will swing for contact more and strike out less.
   37. Davo Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:47 PM (#5851247)
I’ve stopped watching baseball, and these arguments have basically stated the same for the last ten years. So i mean. Not much to add!
   38. Davo Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5851248)
The Twins are on pace to hit 317 home runs this year. If this were a video game, you’d increase the difficulty settings to keep things realistic!
   39. BrianBrianson Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:57 PM (#5851250)
That's simply not true. Strikeouts are linked to exchanging swinging for contact for swinging for power (either on an individual level, or teams opting for those who specialize in the latter).


This is true, but it isn't a desire for homeruns that're making players swing for power. It's a disinterest in grounding out to the infield. If homeruns were forbidden, or impossible, batters would still want to hit for power.

By the way, it didn't take sabermetrics to figure out that strikeouts aren't much worse than any other out. It's kind of baked into the equation.


Were you born in 1997? It was for a long, long, long time the received wisdom that strikeouts were worse than other outs, because you can't advance runners/force errors/whatnot. But you also ground into double plays, which gives it all back. But thirty years ago, every kid in youth baseball, and even large swaths of the major leagues, were encouraged to choke up with two strikes so they could ground out instead of probably strike out but maybe get a hit.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: June 12, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5851256)
This is true, but it isn't a desire for homeruns that're making players swing for power. It's a disinterest in grounding out to the infield.


This is where you're looking at it wrong, and the flaw with Ks:any other out thinking. Grounding out to the infield is one potential outcome, not the goal. Weak contact can also result in dumping it over the infielder's head, laying down a swinging bunt for a single or reaching on an error, all of which are decidedly better outcomes than striking out. At bats that end with the ball in play are significantly more valuable than outcomes that end with a strike. But the value gap between putting the ball in play vs. swinging and missing (on any count) has been reduced, if not reversed (there is no one gap, as it actually varies depending on the player).

If homeruns were forbidden, or impossible, batters would still want to hit for power.


If the choice were hitting for power or not hitting for power, sure. If the choice were hitting one double for every four singles, not so much.

The value gap between swinging for power and swinging for contact is conditional, not universal.

In the deadball era, when homers were scarce and fielding was shoddy, I'm sure that strikeouts (the inevitable result of swinging for power) were far more punitive than they are now.

But for a better example, look to Little League. In Little League, striking out really is the worst possible outcome, because most balls in play result in the batter reaching safely.

Getting back to the original point. If you make homers more difficult to hit (say, every field has fences deeper than Coors), there will still be value in power, but it will be reduced* (whether enough to dramatically curtail Ks is beyond my ability to estimate). However, if you coupled it with other changes** that incentivized putting the ball in play, you would absolutely see strikeouts go down, as the power-contact balance would shift.


Were you born in 1997? It was for a long, long, long time the received wisdom that strikeouts were worse than other outs, because you can't advance runners/force errors/whatnot.


I'm very old. I don't need a history lesson. The idea that strikeouts were worse than any other out is merely a byproduct of the thinking that put a premium on putting the ball in play. It was, at times, misguided, but not totally so. It's merely become more misguided, partly by our greater understanding of the game, but also partly due to changes in the game itself (smaller parks, stronger dudes, better fielding, etc.)

you can't advance runners/force errors/whatnot. But you also ground into double plays, which gives it all back.


Not that it's germane to the main point, but other outs really are better than Ks. (GIDPs don't give the whole thing back). If you have a man on third and one out or a runner on second with no one out, a BIP out is immensely more valuable than a K. And when you have a runner on first and one or none out, the BIP out is often worse, but it can also be better than the strikeout. It's just, on average, not enough to influence the optimal approach to hitting.


* Doubles are more valuable than singles, but not to the degree homers are, of course. Additionally, a larger field will push outfielders back, which could mean more of today's softly hit singles become tomorrow's doubles. And, related to the K issue but not related to the subject at hand, larger outfielders would likely require a different mix of players, which could also result in differences in K rates among the players being employed. You know, more Juan Pierres and fewer Pat Burrells.

** The one I think would do the most to advance the BIP cause, of course, is reducing the distance between the bases.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5851269)
I do think it's possible that baseball without homeruns would be more fun to watch. It's just so dramatically different than what anyone alive has ever known - would be impossible to predict what form it would take exactly.
   42. Lest we forget Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:48 AM (#5851306)
If pitchers didn't throw so hard, would home runs go down?

Some team should try this: put a really good 'location' pitcher with an average fastball under 90mph, and see how he fares.

   43. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5851363)
If you're hoping that he's not going to give up many homeruns, I've got news for you.
   44. Davo Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:22 PM (#5851561)
White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal: .293/.363/.404 in 241 PAs and just 6 strikeouts.

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