May 15, 2018

For you inside-the-park-home-run fans.



From the Wikipedia article on the subject:
In the early days of Major League Baseball, with outfields more spacious and less uniform from ballpark to ballpark, inside-the-park home runs were common. However, in the modern era, with smaller outfields, the feat has become increasingly rare, happening only a handful of times each season. Today an inside-the-park home run is typically accomplished by a fast baserunner hitting the ball in a direction that bounces far away from the opposing team's fielders. Sometimes (such as Alcides Escobar's inside-the-park homer in the 2015 World Series), the outfielder misjudges the ball or otherwise misplays it, but not so badly that an error is charged.
So there's a separate category that doesn't count as an inside-the-park home run, where the ball doesn't leave the park, and the batter gets all the way around, but the fielding crosses the line into error.

53 comments:

rehajm said...

The fielders have to screw up. That makes them less impressive to me than other rare plays, like hitting for the cycle, or even just a triple.

traditionalguy said...

Yes, a Home Run is more exciting than a swing and a Home Trot. Were have you gone Jolting Joe DiMaggios? To Marilyn Monroe, every one.

Lucien said...

Why do players slide head first? Isn’t it well established that sliding feet first is faster?

traditionalguy said...

Pop Quiz: What MLB team has the best record in Baseball as of today?

Curious George said...

"So there's a separate category that doesn't count as an inside-the-park home run, where the ball doesn't leave the park, and the batter gets all the way around, but the fielding crosses the line into error."

Of course, many varieties. From four base error to a single and three base error to everything in between.

"The fielders have to screw up. That makes them less impressive to me than other rare plays, like hitting for the cycle, or even just a triple."

Depends on the definition of screw up. True, most inside the park homers could be prevented with fielder caution, the creation of singles, doubles, and triples instead of outs would also be true.

The most exciting play in baseball is a close play at the plate, which this inside the park homer included.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Significant improvements in the quality of the playing surface means fewer bad bounces, which is a big factor. It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the re-introduction of non-symmetric fields over the past 20-30 years and the number of inside-the-park home runs and triples. The odd angles and corners can make for some interesting outfield play, particularly on the part of the visiting team.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

"Why do players slide head first? Isn’t it well established that sliding feet first is faster?"

No it hasn't. But what is clear is that sliding head first reduces the target size to tag.

traditionalguy said...

Lucien...Itis easier to stick a hand in under and around a tag than sticking your big leg into the bag.

Curious George said...

"Lucien said...
Why do players slide head first? Isn’t it well established that sliding feet first is faster?"

I think you are thinking of sliding versus running through the bag at first. Definitely sliding is slower.

mockturtle said...

I was listening to the game but, when this happened, I turned it off and went to bed as I knew it was over. Arizona is in a real slump.

traditionalguy said...

Mia Culpa. The Atlanta Braves have the best record in the National League today. The Damn Yankees have it in the Junior Circuit.

Tank said...

The Yankees are America's Team.

Otto said...

Okay. In one inning the batting team gets 3 singles, 1 double, 1 triple , 1 home run and doesn't score a run.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Lucien said...

Why do players slide head first? Isn’t it well established that sliding feet first is faster?

Physicists Say Headfirst Slide to Base Faster, Maybe

Not conclusive either way. As a STEM major, not a baseball player, my intuition is that head-first would be faster: you can keep driving with your legs as you start heading to the ground, letting gravity provide the force to rotate you forward. Feet first requires you to stop running before you start heading to the ground, and to use some of your drive to get your feet out in front of you.

EDH said...

Did that ump slow him down a half-step on the base path when the announcer said "Boy, oh, boy" on the replay?

MadisonMan said...

He wouldn't have had to slide had he maintained his speed.

This reminds me of a trivia question I heard: What's the most common distance run in all organized sports? And the answer is the 90 feet from home to 1st.

Unknown said...

They slide head first so that they can have most of their body furthest away from the fielder while reaching to touch the base with their hand.

Fenway Park's right field corner is a very good place to hit the ball so as to give yourself a good chance at an inside the park home run. That corner is oddly shaped and the ball can run along the low wall away from the fielder. You still have to be pretty fast though.

-sw

SeanF said...

Otto: Okay. In one inning the batting team gets 3 singles, 1 double, 1 triple , 1 home run and doesn't score a run.

First batter triples, gets tagged out between 3rd and home. Second batter doubles, gets tagged out between 2nd and 3rd. Third, fourth, and fifth batter single to load the bases. Sixth batter hits one over the fence, but the runner from 2nd passes the runner from 3rd and is called out before anyone crosses the plate.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
He wouldn't have had to slide had he maintained his speed."

Well, that's a 100 yard dash to third so I'm sure he got winded. At least he didn't make the common mistake of looking back, instead relying on his coach.

Curious George said...

" SeanF said...
Otto: Okay. In one inning the batting team gets 3 singles, 1 double, 1 triple , 1 home run and doesn't score a run.

First batter triples, gets tagged out between 3rd and home. Second batter doubles, gets tagged out between 2nd and 3rd. Third, fourth, and fifth batter single to load the bases. Sixth batter hits one over the fence, but the runner from 2nd passes the runner from 3rd and is called out before anyone crosses the plate."

Then no home run was hit.

mccullough said...

There are also way fewer triples these days. Parks are smaller and outfielders, especially center fielders are even faster.

Shows you how great Willie Mays was to play center for 7 seasons at the Polo Grounds. The center field fence was almost 500 feet.

Mays was the greatest baseball player ever. Mike Trout has a chance to surpass him. He’s well on his way.

Trout would have made this catch.

Bricap said...

"So there's a separate category that doesn't count as an inside-the-park home run, where the ball doesn't leave the park, and the batter gets all the way around, but the fielding crosses the line into error. "

The first question is was there an error on the play at all? MLB defines error as follows:

"A fielder is given an error if, in the judgment of the official scorer, he fails to convert an out on a play that an average fielder should have made. Fielders can also be given errors if they make a poor play that allows one or more runners to advance on the bases. A batter does not necessarily need to reach base for a fielder to be given an error. If he drops a foul ball that extends an at-bat, that fielder can also be assessed an error..."

Pollock dove for a ball that, "in the judgment of the official scorer," was not "a play that an average fielder should have made." And the subsequent retrieval and throws were adequately executed, also. The runner made it all the way around, so inside the park homer it is. I couldn't see whether the runner touched home, though, but the ump had a better view than I did.

Otto said...

I am so old , I actually saw Joe DiMaggio play in person. To show how our culture has greatly changed,a home run down the right field line ( ~ 258 ft)in the Polo Grounds was called a Chinese home run.

Bricap said...

Last I heard, Mel Ott held the record for most homers in one park, at the Polo Grounds. I wonder how many were of the shallow variety.

As for the center field fence at the Polo Grounds, four hitters cleared it.
Answers here

Birches said...

My Dbacks have been awful in May. What a nosedive.

SeanF said...

Curious George: Then no home run was hit.

I'm pretty sure the batter is still credited with a home run, similarly to how a pitcher is credited with a strike out even if the ball is dropped by the catcher and the batter reaches first base safely. No out is recorded, but the pitcher gets a strike out in his stats.

Otto's hypothetical requires a home run be hit with no runs scored, so either it's possible or Otto's hypothetical simply isn't.

320Busdriver said...

A great story is how Brewers rookie pitcher Freddy Peralta carried a no hitter through the sixth inning on Sunday against the Rockies. He was called up earlier from the Colorado Springs farm club when Chase Anderson fell ill prior to the game. Peraltas parents had traveled from the D.R. as they had never seen him pitch in the US and followed the son to Denver to see him dominate the Rockies in his first ever MLB start.
He recorded 13 strikeouts in the 7-3 Milwaukee win.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Shows you how great Willie Mays was to play center for 7 seasons at the Polo Grounds"

Yes, definitely great! But he only played at the Polo Grounds for 5 years. He was in the Army for 1952 and 1953. Playing almost all his career in parks that were not home run friendly (the pre-enclosed Candlestick was even worse!) and missing two peak seasons due to his time in the Army, he still got 660 home runs.

Curious George said...

"SeanF said...
Curious George: Then no home run was hit.

I'm pretty sure the batter is still credited with a home run, similarly to how a pitcher is credited with a strike out even if the ball is dropped by the catcher and the batter reaches first base safely. No out is recorded, but the pitcher gets a strike out in his stats."

I don't think so. Two different things. As you said, a strike out doesn't have to result in an out. The put out is done by the catcher catching the ball...unless of course first base is occupied with less than two outs.

Robin Yount hit a walk-off "homer" but didn't round the bases, stopping at first as the runner from third scored the game ending run. He was credited with only a single.

Yancey Ward said...

When you slide head first, you can slide to the side opposite the tag and grab/touch (for home) the base.

Curious George said...

"SeanF said...
I'm pretty sure the batter is still credited with a home run"

According to mlb.com "A home run occurs when a batter hits a fair ball and scores on the play without being put out or without the benefit of an error."

Conversely according to mlb.com:

"A strikeout occurs when a pitcher throws any combination of three swinging or looking strikes to a hitter. (A foul ball counts as a strike, but it cannot be the third and final strike of the at-bat. A foul tip, which is caught by the catcher, is considered a third strike.)

The batter is automatically out on a strikeout, unless the catcher does not cleanly hold onto the baseball or if the baseball hits the dirt. If the catcher does not catch the third strike, the batter may attempt to run to first base -- if it is open or if there are two outs. However, even if the batter reaches first base safely, the pitcher and the batter are still credited with a strikeout in the scorebook."

SeanF said...

Curious George: Robin Yount hit a walk-off "homer" but didn't round the bases, stopping at first as the runner from third scored the game ending run. He was credited with only a single.

Yes, the batter doesn't get a home run if the batter gets himself put out - it's happened several times - but that's different than a preceding runner getting put out.

I'm not confident about this, by the way, but it (or something similar) is the only way Otto's hypothetical could work.

John Tuffnell said...

The fielders have to screw up.

Sometimes the Fielders hit them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh15tQoXiSg

exiledonmainstreet said...

320Busdriver said...

"A great story is how Brewers rookie pitcher Freddy Peralta carried a no hitter through the sixth inning on Sunday against the Rockies."

Yes, Brewers fans have been treated to 2 great games in a row - last night's game and Freddy Peralta's great mlb debut on Sunday. Peralta was called up only because the scheduled starter, Chase Anderson, had food poisoning. The Brewers are developing a tradition of memorable Mother's Day games.

As good as it is to see the bats wake up, it's the bullpen which has been really exciting to watch. Josh Hader is a strikeout machine who has racked up 50 Ks already.

mockturtle and Birches: Goldschmidt appears to be in a hitting slump but he is too good to stay in one. When his bat gets going, I'm sure the D-backs will rebound. I hope it will not happen until their series with the Brewers is over, however!

Jim at said...

Sean F. nailed it at 9:34.

Jim at said...

"A home run occurs when a batter hits a fair ball and scores on the play without being put out or without the benefit of an error."

Which negates Otto's requirement that no run was scored.

Has to be one or the other.

SeanF said...

Actually, I just realized there's a different problem with my scenario - I'm pretty sure if the runner from 2nd is called out for passing the runner from 3rd, the runner from 3rd can still score, so that fails Otto's "no runs scored" requirement.

The runner from 3rd could get put out by not advancing to home plate, but I think that would constitute a force out which very likely would negate the home run altogether.

Hmm.

Curious George said...

"Actually, I just realized there's a different problem with my scenario - I'm pretty sure if the runner from 2nd is called out for passing the runner from 3rd, the runner from 3rd can still score, so that fails Otto's "no runs scored" requirement."

No, because there would be three outs.

Richard said...

I think we should take this to the Supreme Court. After all if they can decide what the rules of golf are, then they should be able to determine if it is a home run.

Chuck said...

Richard said...
I think we should take this to the Supreme Court. After all if they can decide what the rules of golf are, then they should be able to determine if it is a home run.


We should get together for a drink some time... The Scalia dissent was pretty great, wasn't it?

Just imagine Acushnet Corp. v. United States Golf Association when they finally roll back the performance specs on multilayer urethane golf balls. I actually think we will get better rulings now. Get quasi-golfer (a little knowledge is a dangerous thing) O'Connor out; get the case away from a liberal shibboleth like the Americans with Disabilities Act. We might find that the Supreme Court is finally ready to let sports rule themselves, with Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch leading the way.

Bricap said...

Otto said...

Okay. In one inning the batting team gets 3 singles, 1 double, 1 triple , 1 home run and doesn't score a run.

5/15/18, 9:00 AM

Okay, I'll take a guess at this.

Leadoff batter hits a double and fails to extend it to a triple, or is picked off at second. Out 1

Second hitter hits a triple but is either picked off or thrown out at the plate trying to extend to an inside the park homer. Out 2

Next three hitters hit singles, loading the bases.

Final hitter hits a homer, but it turns out he has too much pine tar on his bat and is ruled out.

RonF said...

It's not at all unheard of for a runner to reach more bases than he is credited for from his hit. A batter hits a line drive down the first base line. The runner tries for a double. The right fielder picks it up and fires the ball into second where the second baseman commits a fielding error. The ball bounds away from all the fielders. The runner jumps up and runs to third. Even though he has reached 3rd base, he only gets credit for a single or double (depending on whether the official scorer thinks he would have been safe at second if the ball had been fielded cleanly).

There's also the case if the ball HAD been fielded cleanly and the runner is out at second. He still gets credit for a single even though he made an out on the play.

Jim at said...

Ah, yes. The Pine Tar Incident. :)

One of the best things about the whole thing? When they did restart the game (Yankees manager) Billy Martin went out and formally challenged Brett failed to touch all the bases upon his homerun trot. Each umpire. Each base. Because it was a different crew than the one in the original game. Since they weren't there for the original home run, there is no way they knew whether or not he touched every base.

Also, that was the last time a left-hander played second base as Martin had every player out of position and Don Mattingly got the call at second.

Baseball could use more people like Billy Martin.

RonF said...

"Fenway Park's right field corner is a very good place to hit the ball so as to give yourself a good chance at an inside the park home run. That corner is oddly shaped and the ball can run along the low wall away from the fielder. You still have to be pretty fast though."

I personally saw Trot Nixon do this. The center fielder ran to the ball, dove, and missed it. If you have to dive for a ball you will never get an error. The ball rolled past him to the corner in right-center field. The left and right fielders had expected the center fielder to pull up and take the ball on the bounce and failed to back him up. Trot just kept running. Later on in that same game - against the Yankees - Ortiz hit a grand slam. Not too often do you see a grand slam and an inside-the-park home run hit in the same game.

Jim at said...

Also, that was the last time a left-hander played second base as Martin had every player out of position and Don Mattingly got the call at second.

I was slightly in error. Not every player was out of position. Injuries and a trade forced Martin to play Mattingly and Guidry out of position.

RonF said...

"The odd angles and corners can make for some interesting outfield play, particularly on the part of the visiting team."

If you really want to see an outfielder having some adventures, watch what happens the first time a visiting left fielder plays in Fenway Park and sees a line drive go over his head and hit the wall. He'll be running back and the ball hits the wall and bounces BACK over his head towards the diamond while he's running towards the wall. The next time he stays back, the ball hits off the sheet metal covering the top third of the wall, which absorbs the energy of the ball. It just dies and drops straight down to the base of the wall.

Richard said...

"Blogger Chuck said...
Richard said...
I think we should take this to the Supreme Court. After all if they can decide what the rules of golf are, then they should be able to determine if it is a home run.


We should get together for a drink some time... The Scalia dissent was pretty great, wasn't it?"

Yes, that was quintessential Scalia. The country lost a great man with his untimely death.

SeanF said...

Curious George: "Actually, I just realized there's a different problem with my scenario - I'm pretty sure if the runner from 2nd is called out for passing the runner from 3rd, the runner from 3rd can still score, so that fails Otto's "no runs scored" requirement."

No, because there would be three outs.


Right, that's a time play. No runs.

I still can't find anything official to indicate if the batter would still be credited with a 0-run home run or not, though.

Curious George said...

"SeanF said...
I still can't find anything official to indicate if the batter would still be credited with a 0-run home run or not, though."

MLB says ""A home run occurs when a batter hits a fair ball and scores on the play without being put out or without the benefit of an error."

So pretty clear. No score. No homer.

Static Ping said...

So there's a separate category that doesn't count as an inside-the-park home run, where the ball doesn't leave the park, and the batter gets all the way around, but the fielding crosses the line into error.

Yes, indeed. And there is the ultimate variation of it known as the "Little League home run" where the fielders make multiple errors allowing the batter to score without the advantage of a hit, or sometimes with a single followed by multiple errors. (It's an unofficial statistic so the definition is vague.)

mockturtle said...

Birches bemoans: My Dbacks have been awful in May. What a nosedive.

And now Pollock is out 4-6 weeks. Sad.

exiledonmainstreet said...

mock, your boys won last night though, thanks to Zack Greinke and the D-back bullpen (darn it). :)