With the wind howling out yesterday at Wrigley Field, you know the drill: get it up in the breeze, and it can go.
Nothing typified that more than the homer hit by Francisco Cervelli and the second Kris Bryant shot, shown after Bryant’s monster first homer (wind or not, *that* one was going out):
Bryant’s and Cervelli’s homers were almost identical in terms of their “that should not ever be a home run”-ness, which, given that each was a solo shot, seems to have balanced things out.
In fact, the ESPN Home Run Tracker indicates that each of those two homers would have been home runs in … 0 ballparks. Not even Wrigley Field. In other words, not only would those balls have not gone out in any other ballpark in MLB, they would definitely not be homers in wind-neutral conditions at Wrigley.
Andrew McCutchen’s decisive homer was a little better-struck than the Cervelli and Bryant shots, but not by much:
— Pirates (@Pirates) April 15, 2017
Typical day? That one doesn’t get out either at Wrigley. But there’s something to be said for putting solid contact on the ball on a day like that, elevating it just enough, and then getting the results. There’s also something to be said for a Pedro Strop slider that doesn’t slide.
Moreover, according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, that particular ball would have left 19 other parks yesterday, so it’s not like it was a total cheapy. Ditto the Josh Harrison shot, though that one would have left just seven parks.
The Starling Marte homer off of Jake Arrieta, though, was more like the Francisco Cervelli or Kris Bryant homer – any other day in any other park, it’s not a homer. The only one it would have left was Wrigley Field. Ah those short power alleys.
No Cubs fan should be crying unfairness about the wind yesterday – it just didn’t work out in the Cubs’ favor that time. Some days, it will.