Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
It looks like the juiced balls are back!
By Cam Lewis1 year ago
The bats absolutely exploded today.
For the past week-and-a-half, the Blue Jays have been rolling along and hitting like the team they were expected to be, but today was a whole different animal, as they teed off for a season-high 12runs.
Jose Berrios allowed a two-run bomb to his former teammate Jorge Polanco in the first inning but it was all Blue Jays after that. Bo Bichette hit a solo dinger in the bottom of the first, Cavan Biggio ripped a two-run double in a four-run second inning, Alejandro Kirk hit a two-run bomb in the third, and Vladdy Jr. smacked a ball over the left field wall in the fourth. The Blue Jays would add a few more runs in garbage time and ultimately won 12-3.
It was the best game we’ve seen from Toronto’s bats all season, as they had 16 hits, six of which were for extra bases, and they walked six times while only striking out five times.
If you look around the league, a lot of teams have been teeing off lately as well. On Friday, the Giants put up 15 on the Marlins, the Cardinals put up 14 on the Cubs, the Yankees scored 10 on the Tigers, and both Houston and Philly scored 10. If you follow the MLB Home Run Tracker account on Twitter, you’ll likely have noticed it’s been more active over the past few days as well.
Are guys remembering how to hit?! Is the weather getting warmer?!? Apparently, the dead ball is gone and the juiced ball is back!
According to Ballpark Pal, home runs over the course of April and most of May were happening much, much less than usual. Ballpark Pal notes that this changed at some point in mid-May, and the number of home runs seen around baseball has been skyrocketing back to normal.
Though it was never confirmed, there was talk earlier in the season that the ball was different. Hitters were complaining that it wasn’t flying as much as before and even pitchers were complaining that it felt different. If both hitters and pitchers are complaining about the ball, something’s obviously up.
On Monday night it was Chris Taylor’s turn to express befuddlement. The L.A. Dodgers utility player had smoked a fastball in the sixth inning and watched as it barely cleared the fence for a home run.“That’s all I got,” Taylor said, explaining that he was surprised the baseball didn’t even make the seats despite his having flushed it. “The balls are doing weird things this year.”Indeed they are. On any given day in this young season, hitters and pitchers find themselves baffled by the behaviour of the sphere that gives the sport its name. The ball is dead. The ball is slippery. Except for sometimes when it is neither of those things.The players have certainly noticed. Chris Bassitt of the New York Mets rang alarm bells two weeks ago: “They’re all different,” he said. “The first inning they’re decent. The third inning they’re bad. The fourth inning they’re OK. The fifth inning they’re bad.” His general summary of the state of things with the ball: “Bad.”
The conspiracy theory was that Major League Baseball wanted to deaden the ball in order to take baseball back to what it was like years ago when fielding and stealing bases and all of that was more important. What happened instead was low-scoring games in which the ball would seemingly always die on the warning track when it appeared to be heading for the seats.
Anyways, all of this would track when it comes to the Blue Jays, as it coincides pretty closely with the beginning of their hot streak. The team looked completely limp for the first month-and-a-half of the season and now they’re hitting just like they were last season. Maybe hitting a normal baseball was all they needed!
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