Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Looking Back at MLB 2011: Home Runs



Now that the World Series is over and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers to claim their 11th title, I started looking back at the games I attended during the 2011 Major League Baseball season. In all, I attended 16 games. Fourteen were regular season contests, and two were in the postseason. I'm going to exclude the statistics from the three spring training games I attended. Those stats are meaningless, and not to mention, difficult to find.

So, where to begin? I decided to rummage through the numbers and search for interesting facts and trends. Not knowing exactly what I was attempting to uncover, I focused on the home runs I witnessed first hand.

As I mentioned, I attended 14 regular season games. Of those 14 games, home runs were hit during 11 of them. Eight of those games featured multiple long balls. A mere three games featured solo blasts.

What about the playoff games? When those two games are factored in, 13 of the 16 games had home runs. During those two games, a total of eight home runs left the yard. The homers were split evenly between the two games - four during Game 2 of the NLDS (Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers), and four more in Game 2 of the NLCS (St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers).

How about individual performances? In those 14 regular season games, a total of 26 homers were hit by 22 unique players. Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers), Carlos Pena (Chicago Cubs), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox), and Starlin Castro (Chicago Cubs) were the only players to tally multiple blasts. Oddly enough, those four players hit two apiece during the regular season.

Now let's throw the postseason games into the mix. That means I witnessed a total of 34 home runs hit by 28 unique players. So, that means if I had an award to distribute for the 2011 Home Run Champion, it would go to Milwaukee's Prince Fielder with three. Milwaukee's slugging first baseman belted two during the regular season with one additional during the playoffs.

At what point were those home runs hit during games? The sixth inning was best for power. A total of six home runs were hit during the sixth inning. All six were hit during the regular season. The fourth, fifth, and seventh were tied for second. Those three innings each had five long balls. Pitchers found solace during the eighth inning. During the regular season, not a single pitch left the yard during the eighth. The only eighth inning long ball came during Game 2 of the NLCS when Prince Fielder came to the plate against the St. Louis Cardinals.

What comes next? I'm not sure. Probably something related to pitchers.


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