Nike had an ad campaign back in 1990s, “Chicks dig the long ball.”
That was 1999. In 2017, it seems everybody digs the long ball.
Major League hitters are on pace to hit 6,181 home runs this season, which would shatter the previous record set in 2000 of 5,693.
2000 was, if you recall, the height of the steroid era.
So it turns out Barry Bonds didn’t need PEDs to hit all those home runs. All he had to do was swing for the fences every time, strikeouts be damned.
Major League hitters are striking out 22.8 percent of the time, by far the largest percentage in major league history.
It’s feast or famine. Home run or bust. Joey Gallo, it seems, is baseball’s model citizen.
Look at the Rangers. 2017 is a tale of an offense that cannot score unless it hits a home run. The Rangers have the fifth most strikeouts in baseball, the fourth worst batting average, yet they are seventh in runs scored. Because they’re third in home runs.
Last night was the quintessential Rangers game. No hits through five innings. No runner further than first. Then an Adrian Beltre three-run homer tied it in the sixth and a Mike Napoli two-run homer won it in the seventh.
After that, only one more hit, a single.
Luckily, they are playing the Kansas City Royals, a team they have now beaten eleven straight times.
And they play them two more times to start the second half. Let the winning streak continue. Let the long balls fly.
Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.51) vs. Danny Duffy (5-5, 3.76)
Game time: 6:15