The Nats won, but they had to use their two star pitchers to do it. Not a lot of faith in the ‘pen. The tied the series, which was critical, but will have to cross their fingers from here.
The Braves squared their series, as the Cards once again proved that it is not possible to win a game without scoring.
The Astros won because, well … because Verlander was unhittable. And dats da name o’ dat tune, as Baretta used to say.
The Yankees put up a 10-spot on the Twins. Did you know that the 2019 Yankees hit the second-highest number of team home runs in the history of MLB, despite losing their two top musclemen for much of the season? Two years ago, Stanton and Judge combined for 111 homers. This year they hit 30.
Guess who had the highest team homer total in history. The 2019 Twins. Guess who is third. The 2019 Astros. Guess who holds the NL record. The 2019 Dodgers. Guess who is second and third in NL history. I reckon you’ve figured out this pattern by now. It’s the 2019 Cubs and the 2019 Brewers.
Ten of the top 20 in baseball history are from 2019! It was obviously the year of the home run. When the 1961 Yankees, the fabled team of Mantle, Maris and company, poled 240 in 1961, it was considered one of the most difficult records to break. It did hold up for 34 years, then 1996 came along, and all hell broke loose. After those 34 years when no team came very close, three teams broke the record in the same year, and the Mariners raised the bar again the following year. In one more year, Mark McGwire would leave Maris’s individual record of 61 in the rear view mirror.
And so on.
The mighty 1961 Yankees are now in 29th place on the all-time list, and the new record is 307. Here’s how to put that number in perspective. Take the 1961 Yankees in your historical fantasy league. I’ll allow a DH, and I’ll let you draft 1927 Babe Ruth with his 60 homers to be your DH. That imaginary team still hit fewer homers than the 2019 Twins.
It’s insane. Teams are hitting homers now about 20% more frequently than they did in 2000, the year of peak steroids. Today’s players are hitting three and a half times as many homers as they did in 1927, when Ruth lashed his 60.