Yesterday we wrapped up the "countdown" portion of our look at home runs in 2013, and today we're taking a look at the blasts on the other end of the spectrum: The long balls that were just long enough.
A true no-doubt home run is a thing of beauty, a majestic event well worth losing your popcorn over. But, in a sense it's also anticlimactic. If you know a ball is gone the second it leaves the bat, the sense of anticipation leaves with it. The run has practically been scored before the ball even touches down in the seats. Today we're honoring the home runs that made you wait until the final instant to start cheering.
Hit Tracker Online measures a lot of statistics regarding home runs: Their true distance, speed and angle off the bat and more. The last item on their charts is an interesting one: The number of MLB parks the ball would leave under normal conditions. On September 19 Carlos Gomez hit what that stat would seemingly classify as a miracle: A home run that shouldn't actually have been long enough to leave any MLB park. Here it is:
This one isn't so much a wall-scraper as a "wall-bouncer." Yuni was in the middle of the best month of his career when this liner to left center caromed off the top of the barricade and bounced over for a solo blast that Hit Tracker says would only have been a home run in one MLB park:
That ball had a 19.7 degree elevation angle, tying it for the lowest homer by a Brewer this season.
Speaking of low home runs, here's another liner that had just enough. At Great American Ball Park Scooter hit one into to the front row that had to be reviewed before the run was official:
August 10, Scooter Gennett off Hisashi Iwakuma
Actually, the previous homer wasn't Scooter's first "just enough" homer. During interleague play he hit a ball that clanked off Mariners right fielder Michael Morse's glove to bring three runs home:
See? Not everything went wrong for the Brewers in 2013.