You think we don’t have home runs today. Think about baseball fans of 1988. The entire National League saw just two players hit 30 long balls. No team averaged one HR/game that season.
This was on the heels of a record-setting 1987 when 19 teams averaged one homer per night.
Twenty-eight players hit thirty bombs in ’87 including:
- 40 year-old Darrell Evans
- 21 year-old Ruben Sierra
- Larry Sheets….a man who hit more career HR’s in the minors than the big leagues
San Diego Padres lefty Alex Torres pitched two innings of shutout relief last night against the Cubs. The former Tampa Bay Ray has now thrown 87 career innings in MLB and allowed only one home run*.
Torres is one of only four pitchers to allow fewer than two HR’s while throwing over 80 innings in the MLB integration era….
Rk Player IP HR From To Age G BF Tm 1 Lance Rautzhan 94.2 1 1977 1979 24-26 83 414 LAD-MIL 2 Alex Torres 87.0 1 2011 2014 23-26 65 348 TBR-SDP 3 Kevin Cameron 86.1 1 2007 2009 27-29 69 383 SDP-OAK 4 Dan Otero 81.0 1 2012 2014 27-29 66 334 SFG-OAK
*Martin Prado tagged him last August
Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton had a spectacular first month of 2014. In April he slugged .641 and reached base 4-of-10 times he came to the plate. To boot, Upton is the current NL leader in home runs with 8.
You may already know that this is Justin Upton’s second best April of his career. Last season, his first with the Braves, he hit 12 home runs with a .734 SLG.
For whatever reason Upton has historically been better in the spring than the fall. But if he can buck the trend in 2014 he should easily best his career high of 31 home runs he smashed in 2011.