Fun, fun day for home runs. Let’s get into it…
The 27-year-old outfielder, making his first ever appearance in the major leagues after three-and-a-half years in the minor/independent leagues, had his first career at-bat in the second inning, facing Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton with the bases loaded and no outs. The first pitch he ever saw in a big league game – a 90 mph sinker that hung over the heart of the plate – he deposited into the Red Sox bullpen in right-centerfield, becoming only the fourth player ever to hit a grand slam in his first career at-bat, and only the second (after Kevin Kouzmanoff) to hit a grand slam on the first pitch he ever saw.
Derek Jeter, Adam LaRoche, and Jonny Gomes hit two home runs yesterday. Carlos Guillen hit a walkoff home run yesterday. Adam Rosales had one of the greatest trots I’ve seen so far this year. All of that happened yesterday, and yet none of it had any chance of beating the Daniel Nava story, which is at it should be.
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Yesterday, it was Vladimir Guerrero and his seventh appearance at the top of the “slowest of the day” charts. Today we get Carlos Lee and his fifth time at the top of the leaderboard. But at least today, Lee isn’t alone near the top. Both Juan Rivera (26.84 seconds) and Carlos Guillen (26.93 seconds on a walkoff) came pretty close to taking the title.
I’ve said it many times before, but Adam Rosales is, by far, the most fun player in baseball to watch hit a home run. In fact, I might go so far as to say that an Adam Rosales home run trot is the most underrated event in baseball. Yesterday, he blasted past his two previous best times (which were already far-and-away the fastest non-inside-the-park home run trots of the year) to a tune of 15.47 seconds – that’s nearly half-a-second faster than his previous best. Even more exciting, this new trot time puts his regular home run trot as faster than all but two of the seven inside-the-park home runs hit this year. Have I mentioned how great I think this guy is?
There were a couple other nice, quick trots yesterday. Oakland’s Matt Carson ran his solo shot out in only 17.6 seconds, and the Mets’ Jose Reyes scooted around the bases at a nice 18.06 seconds. The 19.12 second grand slam trot Daniel Nava clocked is the third fastest grand slam trot of the year. Like I said above, it was a pretty great day for home runs.