Yesterday’s game against the Rockies featured a nightmarish first inning, with Jason Hammel getting smacked around and the defense playing a bit of the Yakety Sax behind him. After that, the Cubs and Rockies played to a 4-4 tie, but, you know, they do count all the innings. So the result was a blowout win for the Rockies, and a series win, too.
It wasn’t all bad, though, as Addison Russell provided a couple great moments at the plate, homering twice in memorable fashion.
Russell’s first homer came with the Cubs already down 10-0, and I’ll let the Cubs’ magnificent Twitter account take the description:
The irony of Addi hitting a home run into a trash can in a game we're losing by nine runs is not lost on us.https://t.co/GP2w0r1UlN
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 21, 2016
The homer wound up in the trash can. That’s just wonderful.
The blast was a rocket off the bat – 110.9 mph exit velocity – and although it just barely cleared the fence, at Coors Field, that’s still a very healthy distance at 398 feet. A 398-foot shot to that same spot at Wrigley Field is about 15 rows up. Of course, the ball travels much further out in the elevation of Denver, so we’ll call it a wash. Maybe that one finds a receptacle of another kind if it were in Chicago: the basket at Wrigley. Obligatory: the outfield basket at Wrigley Field is not a trash can. Don’t do it.
Russell’s second homer on the day, on the other hand, was a no-doubter of the highest order – the second furthest homer for the Cubs all year:
— #Statcast (@statcast) August 21, 2016
My word that thing was crushed. At 465 feet, that homer trails only the one hit by Kris Bryant the day before, at 469 feet. Imagine for a moment if these Cubs played half their games at Coors Field …
You don’t traditionally associate Russell with that kind of power, at least not in a lineup that features Bryant, Jorge Soler, Javy Baez, and Anthony Rizzo, but Russell can absolutely clobber it.
The homers gave Russell 17 on the year, putting him well on pace to eclipse the 20 homer mark as a 22-year-old shortstop. Know how many NL shortstops have more homers than Russell this year? Just three (Trevor Story, Corey Seager, and Danny Espinosa).