Participants in baseball’s postseason dig the long ball.
Small ball has taken a back seat to the big fly in 2015. Fifty-nine home runs have already been hit this postseason through the League Division Series round — which is two more than last year’s playfof teams hit in the entire postseason (57).
Not only has the power been prodigious and plentiful, it has also accounted for a healthy chunk of the scoring so far this postseason. There have been 175 runs scored through the LDS — no thanks to the Pirates and Yankees, both of whom were shutout in the Wild Card round. Of the 175 runs scored through the Division Series, 86 have come via the home run — or 49.14 percent of runs scored.
The Cubs have been the most prolific home run-hitting team in the early rounds. No team has benefited more from the long ball, as the Cubs have 12 in five postseason games. That is four more than the two ALCS participants (Blue Jays and Royals each had 8 through the LDS) and five more than the Mets (7).
The team’s home run barrage is highlighted by the 10 in the team’s three wins against the Cardinals in the NLDS. The Cubs’ seven solo shots is the most for any postseason team, while five of the Cubs’ 12 homers have come with runners on.
All in all, home runs have helped account for 18 of the 24 runs scored by the team this postseason. That is a whopping 75 percent. Further, the Cubs’ 18 runs via homers account for 20.9 percent of all the runs scored this postseason. Talk about heavy lifting.
The Cubs were pretty reliant on homers during the regular season. Their 171 blasts were the fifth most in the National League and 12th most in all of baseball. The homers accounted for plating 275 of the team’s 689 runs (39.9 percent).
Last season, the 57 homers smashed accounted for 85 of the 255 runs scored in the postseason — or 33.33 percent.
There have already been as many homers hit with runners on in 2015 (21) as there were in the entire 2014 postseason. There have been 38 solo homers so far, after having 36 in 2014. The only thing missing from this postseason is a grand slam. But is that coming soon? Postseason hitters are 6-for-22 (.273 average) with the bases loaded this postseason, but with only one extra-base hit.