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Steve Lyons calls Hanley Ramirez’s Game 2 home run a rally killer

There’s always that fan at the ballpark, bar, or even on Twitter, who gets mad at the “rally-killing” home run. You know, the two-run homers, three-run homers, and even grand slams that put quick runs on the scoreboard, but create a clean slate for the pitcher. The thought behind it being the clean slate removes the stress from the situation and settles the pitcher down.

It's heard more when the homering team is behind and the home run fails to tie the game or put them ahead, but sometimes it'll be applied to the team with the lead. It's just, when you inevitably hear it, you don't expect it to come from someone who actually spent nine years in the major leagues. Someone like Steve Lyons, now an analyst announcer on Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts. But that's exactly what Lyons did, taking to Twitter on Friday night to call Hanley Ramirez's eighth inning two-run homer off David Carpenter a rally killer.

Nevermind the fact Ramirez's home run made the score 4-3, putting them one more big swing away from a tie. Lyons continued.

Ah, yes, he should have waited back and hit it to the gap instead of straight down the line. If only baseball were that easy, we'd all be knocking down the doors of MLB. And it's not as if Hanley was swinging out of his shoes on the home run, either. As Big League Stew's Mike Oz pointed out, he was off-balance and basically supplied his power with one hand on the bat. He just wanted to get a ball in play so something good could happen, and it did. A home run is a good thing.

Granted, a double would have helped. So would a single and so on. Keeping direct pressure on the pitcher and making them work from the stretch is never a bad thing. That much is a given, but making outs is the true enemy. Scoring runs is the object of the game, so that's always good. Especially when the opposing team has Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen and they're willing to use him for four outs with their backs against the wall. Kimbrel's your real rally killer, and you'd much rather take your chances against him down one run than two or three.

Honestly, it's always baffling to hear the rally-killing theory, but especially so from a guy calling Dodgers games. The team that once tied a game in the ninth inning with four consecutive solo home runs, and then won in extra innings with a solo home run. How could that happen with the bases empty and the pitcher facing no pressure despite the game getting closer with each run?

Of course, such a remarkable team feat is never likely to happen again in our lifetime. That would be Lyons argument, and it's a valid one. But the point is home runs are guaranteed runs and you'd always rather have runs than need them.

BLS H/N: Larry Brown Sports

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