This was easily the game of the day yesterday. Not only did the Cardinals win it on a ridiculous walkoff error, but we saw two memorable home runs. The first was the seventh-inning home run off the bat of Dan Haren, the second in his big league career [video]. He ran the homer out in a respectable 21.86 seconds, the second quickest trot by a pitcher this year. The average trot for a pitcher is now 23.51 seconds (see more information here). The other memorable home run is our Home Run of the Day. In the eighth inning, Mark Reynolds lofted a fly ball to deep right field. Randy Winn fielded the ball on the warning track, about five feet from the wall. But he didn’t close his glove properly, and the ball squirted from out of his hand to over the fence for a two run homer that put the D-Backs up 5-2. It was a pretty ugly mistake. Cards fans can be happy, though, that the team was able to pull out the victory in their last at-bat.
(Click “Read More” to continue reading.)
Sometimes you pick the wrong day to have a relatively slow home run trot. This is definitely the case with Ryan Braun, whose 23.9 second trot could qualify as fast on certain days. Instead, he gets the distinction of being the slowest trotter of the day, narrowly edging out Jim Thome (23.57 seconds), Carlos Gonzalez (23.51 sec.), and Scott Hairston (23.57 sec.).
I should probably take a moment here to note Jim Thome‘s triple from last night [video]. As you can see, the ball hit off a weird corner on the rightfield scoreboard, causing the rightfielder to chase it down and giving Thome just enough time to reach third. Thome is not the fastest runner, so it got me wondering if a fast runner would have had time to get an inside-the-park home run from that carom. I timed the triple, and wrote this comment over at NBC’s Hardball Talk:
The Jim Thome triple took 13 seconds to run out (13.08 sec, I believe). In contrast, when Angel Pagan scored on his inside-the-park home run, it took him 14.48 seconds. The slowest inside-the-parker so far this year was Aubrey Huff’s, which took him 16.45 seconds (and could have taken him even longer – there wasn’t even a play at the plate).
Thome was at second base at ~9.3 seconds, meaning it took him 3.7 seconds to get from second to third. If you assume that’s how long it’d take him to go from third to home (a big assumption, because he appeared to be slowing down), you’re looking at close to a 17-second inside the parker (and my money would be on it being closer to 18 seconds). Considering the play at third was kind of close, there’s no way that would’ve been possible. A speedy runner like Pagan might have been able to push it, though…
Everytime Scott Rolen hits a home run (which has happened a lot more often than anyone expected this year) and then hustles around the bases only to find himself listed as the quickest trotter of the day, I find myself struggling to come up with something new to say. The guy has hit 17 home runs this year, and six of them have come in as the quickes trot of the day. He makes this fun. By the way, the home run he hit yesterday was the 300th of his career. Makes you wonder how he looked running the bases when he was still young.