The 2019 Home Run Derby isn’t for another month, but you could be forgiven for thinking it was taking place Monday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks played the Philadelphia Phillies. The two teams faced off in Philadelphia and hit an MLB-record 13 home runs in a single game, which is so many dingers that a viewer could quite possibly get bored of watching them.
The previous record was set both 24 and 17 years ago, and by the same two teams. The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers hit 12 home runs in games against each other on May 28, 1995 and again on July 2, 2002. It took the Phillies and Diamondbacks all nine innings to break the record, with Phillies sluggers Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce both going yard in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie and set the record. The Phillies had five homers on the night, all solo shots, with two coming from young centerfielder Scott Kingery.
But it’s the Diamondbacks that hit the most home runs, which the final score of 13-8 certainly gave away. Six players hit homers against the Phillies on Monday, with two players hitting two each for a total of eight. Jarrod Dyson, Alex Avila, and Ildemaro Vargas all hit their fourth homers of the year. It was an absolute barrage.
In fact, the game began with the Diamondbacks hitting three straight homers, and became just the sixth team ever to start a game that way.
The Diamondbacks are certainly adept at hitting home runs, but you can’t have a home run barrage without some less-than-good pitching. And Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff ... woof. He allowed seven runs on five hits and two walks over just three innings. He also allowed five home runs, meaning every single hit he gave up was a home run. That’s just not what you want from a pitcher pretty much ever.
But on the bright (?) side, he did something only seven other pitchers in MLB history have ever done before.
That’s not the kind of history any pitcher wants to make, and being part of the MLB record for the most homers in a single game probably doesn’t make him feel much better. But he didn’t do it alone. Two other Phillies pitcher gave up at least one homer, and so did three Diamondbacks pitchers.
We’re now firmly into the summer months (the start of summer itself is just over a week away), so seeing the ball fly like that isn’t a surprise. But considering that some MLB analysts and even players think that a juiced ball could be causing an uptick in homers, these home run outbursts could become even more common once we get into July and August. Could we see this record be broken in a matter of months instead of years? We’ll just have to watch and see.
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