There were a lot of interesting home runs last night – including Buster Posey‘s first career homer, a couple of grand slams by Carlos Lee and Travis Hafner, some great looking plays at the wall – but the home run of the day has to belong to Arizona’s Gerardo Parra. With the Dbacks down one in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on second, Parra connected on a well-hit ball to right-center. Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward both ran their hardest to the ball, colliding with each other. McLouth flipped over Heyward and hit his head on the ground as he landed. Heyward got up and raced after the ball, but it was too late. Parra beat the throw with a slide at the plate. Arizona would win, 2-1.
McLouth is apparently ok – no broken neck or apparent concussion – but the Braves will continue to evaluate him. If you watch the replay, as Heyward races after the ball after the collision, McLouth stays down without moving. Definitely a scary moment.
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Travis Hafner is hitting grand slams for the Indians? Really? This is actually his fifth home run of the year, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. And he’s typically fast around the bases, running his other four home runs out between 19.13 and 21.72 seconds. He was slowed down considerably by the runners on base, though, so there was nothing he could do but run slow. Other than Hafner, the slowest trots of the day belonged to Juan Rivera (25.63 seconds) and Derrek Lee (25.5 seconds).
I discussed Parra above, so I think it’s alright to talk about Marlon Byrd right here. Byrd hit two home runs off of Milwaukee’s Randy Wolf last night, and flew around the bases both times. His first clocked in at 17.77 seconds [video], and his second came in at 17.12 seconds [video]. On any other day, either of those times would be good enough for quickest of the day. I’m mentioned Byrd many times before – the guy just looks wonderful running the bases after a home run. Still, he can be even faster if he’d just try. Watch the videos of those two home runs. Both times he basically comes to a stop in his last three steps so he can stand on the plate as he reaches it. If he’d just decide to run through the base once or twice, he’d be challenging Adam Rosales all year long for fastest trotter. I wonder how I get that word to him…
(Oh, and apparently the ESPN guys mentioned the Tater Trot Tracker – though not by name – on the air last night after Byrd’s second homer. We didn’t get the ESPN feed here in Milwaukee so, if anyone has a copy of the game somewhere, I’d love to hear from you.)