Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

It’s crazy to think that, in yesterday’s 14-run explosion, the Cubs could have had even more. Each of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit balls that, on a wind-neutral day, would have left the ballpark, but instead died at the track. That would have given the Cubs six homers on the day.

That’s because, despite the wind blowing in, the Cubs hit four monster shots. I love when they do that, because it’s especially fun to compare the homers – farthest? which ones would have gone out everywhere? who hit it hardest? etc. – using ESPN’s Home Run Tracker.

So, first, let’s watch the homers and take some guesses without checking the stats.

Here are Addison Russell’s two homers:

You can see both Anthony Rizzo’s grand slam and Javier Baez’s rocket in this video on the eight-run fifth inning, chosen to display the homers because I really like seeing Austin Jackson get in on the helmet rub at the beginning of the video (he already fits in!):

OK. Some guesses. I think Rizzo’s homer went the farthest, and I’m guessing it was by a good bit. I think Russell’s first homer was probably the second farthest of the day, followed by Baez, and then Russell’s second homer. I think Baez’s homer was hit the hardest by velocity. I think they all would have gone out of most ballparks, with maybe Russell’s second homer the only one that wouldn’t have gone out of maybe 10 parks or so.

Your thoughts? Do it before you read below.




Now we turn to the tracker.

Sure enough, Rizzo’s homer was the longest, though I’m surprised to see that it was only 400 feet. The wind surely had something to do with that. Baez’s was actually the second longest, at 396 feet, followed by Russell’s second one at 391, and then Russell’s first one (which was pulled a little more, so it looked longer) at 387.

It’s funny to see that, relatively speaking, they were all hit almost the same distance.

According to the tracker, Rizzo’s and Baez’s shots would have been gone in any ballpark in normal conditions. Russell’s first one would have been gone in 23 parks. His second one, though, would have left only Wrigley Field. It’s a little hard for me to accept that, since, if you watch closely, it was a couple rows up with the wind blowing in. Sure, the power alleys are Wrigley are extraordinarily shallow, but really? That wouldn’t have left any other park? Well, we’ll take it.

As for exit velocity, Rizzo’s slightly bests Baez’s 104.4mph to 104.2mph. Russell’s second homer was at 102.9mph, and his first was at 98.9mph.

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