Forty-one home runs, seven multi-home run games, one inside-the-park home run and one walkoff. It was a busy, busy day yesterday.
I’ll get to Tony Gwynn‘s inside-the-park job below. On a day when so many home runs are hit, and when so many players have great days, it can be hard to choose a home run of the day. But only Chris Young‘s ninth-inning blast was important enough to have won a ballgame, so it gets the honors. The fact that it was his second of the game makes it that much more deserving. One note, regarding the celebration: walkoff celebrations have been understandably muted since Kendry Morales‘ injury last month, and Young’s was no different, slowly walking into the circle of his teammates while crouched. But umps might have to start looking closer on celebrations like that because one of these days someone is going to miss the plate. Young himself barely touches home plate amid that celebration. The ump was right on top of it, so I believe he got the call right. But I can certainly see someone screwing up just enough…
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It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve had a home run trot well over 27 seconds, but it happened twice yesterday. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera‘s eighth-inning, go-ahead bomb clocked in at 27.25 seconds, and that’s after Cabrera took a moment to savor the homer. Butler, on the other hand, earned his 27 seconds by running extremely slow around the bases. What’s more, he even had a decent ~8 second trip to first before he realized the ball went over the fence and he slowed down – considerably.
I watched this clip about 12 times, trying to determine exactly when he stepped on the base. When it comes to the top of the leaderboard for quickest trots of the year, a tenth-of-a-second can be a big difference. If you watch the clip, you’ll see Gwynn stutter his feet right as he reaches where you expect the plate to be. One of those steps touched the plate, but it’s nearly impossible to tell which. I tried watching the homer from the Seattle feed, but they used the same angle so that was no help. In the live broadcast of the San Diego feed, though, they show a full-speed replay from a different angle. It’s not much clearer than the original angle, but it gives you a pretty good sense that Gwynn touched the plate with his right foot (the second step of the stutter). Using that, I clocked Gwynn’s inside-the-parker at 15.34 secondsm, the third fastest inside-the-parker of the year, and just a hair faster than Rosales’ trot from this weekend.