May 22, 2018

People Writing About Baseball Often Don't Understand How Baseball Works

On April 4, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez each hit a home run and the Yankees beat the Rays 7-2.

Much fuss was made of these three particular hitters going deep in the same game. A sampling:

ESPN: For The First Time Of Many, Yankees' Judge-Stanton-Sanchez Power Trio All Homer:
You can be assured there will be more days like this. Even opponents know there will be more. ...

Who will be the next team to surrender homers to the Big Bomber Three? More important, how long will Yankees fans have to wait to see that?

It might not be too long.
CBS Sports: Judge, Stanton And Sanchez Homer In Same Game For First Of What Should Be Many Times ... Get Used To It:
[T]he sheer volume of home runs these three will hit when in the lineup together says there will be plenty of overlap.
MLB's Cut 4: For The First Time, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez And Aaron Judge All Homered In The Same Game:
With the reigning NL MVP Award winner joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, why shouldn't the team be smashing a trio of four-baggers every time around the order?
So ... have those three super-awesome-powerful-never-fail-miracle-causing-too-good-to-be-true batters all hit home runs in the same game since April 4, aka "the first time of many"?

Let's take a look!
April 5  -  No
April 6  -  No
April 7  -  No
April 8  -  No
April 10 -  No
April 11 -  No
April 12 -  No
April 13 -  No
April 16 -  No
April 17 -  No
April 19 -  No
April 20 -  No
April 21 -  No
April 22 -  No
April 23 -  No
April 24 -  No
April 25 -  No
April 26 -  No
April 27 -  No
April 28 -  No
April 29 -  No
April 30 -  No
May 1    -  No
May 2    -  No
May 3    -  No
May 4    -  No
May 5    -  No
May 6    -  No
May 8    -  No
May 9    -  No
May 10   -  No
May 11   -  No
May 12   -  No
May 13   -  No
May 15   -  No
May 18   -  No
May 19   -  No
May 20   -  No
May 21   -  No
The Yankees have played 45 games this season and lead MLB with 72 home runs. But they have hit three home runs on a game only six times, four home runs three times, and five home runs only twice. Eleven games is not many chances for a specific trio of batters to go deep, especially when more than half of those games involve only three long balls.

A nine-year-old Yankee fan can be forgiven for thinking it should happen twice a week, but I expect adults writing about baseball for a living would understand the game a little better than that. I am continually disappointed.

1 comment:

Bill said...

There are lots of other factors (Stanton DHing should increase his expected durability, for example) but my back-of-the-envelope calculation is a 1.9% chance of all three homering in a game they play together, and 92 games/season where all three play together, so just under 2 expected per season. Given that there's 3/4 of a season remaining, it should happen ~1.5 times the rest of the way.

So, you know, "every time around the order."