Thursday night was a memorable one for fans of the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins, as the team set a new record for balls leaving the park.
The Twins faced the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim and the result couldn’t have been much better for the visiting team. After a rain delay that caused the game to start late, the Twins went to work on Angels starter Matt Harvey in the 16-7 win. The result was a new record for the “Statcast era” of Major League Baseball.
The Twins mashed eight home runs off the Los Angeles pitching, seven of which were estimated by MLB’s Statcast technology to travel over 700 feet. That’s a new single-game record since the implementation of Statcast prior to the 2015 season. The previous record was six, originally set by the Baltimore Orioles on June 5, 2015, and matched three times since.
The mashing began in the top of the second, when Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop launched a two-run shot off a Harvey curveball. Shortstop Jorge Polanco followed that with another two-run shot off another Harvey curveball. In the top of the third, first baseman C.J. Cron sent a Harvey slider out of the park and third baseman Miguel Sanó caught up to Harvey’s fastball for another solo shot.
Harvey was done after 2.2 innings but the Twins weren’t finished. Sanó hit his second bomb of the night in the top of the seventh off of Angels reliever Noé Ramirez. Not to be outdone, Schoop also went deep for the second time in the top of the seventh, also off Ramirez. Schoop’s second home run was the only one of the eight that failed to travel over 400 feet as projected by Statcast.
The Angels wouldn’t get out of the top of the seventh before Max Kepler took Angels reliever Cody Allen deep as well. The eighth and final home run would be hit, appropriately in the top of the eighth, by left-fielder Eddie Rosario off Allen.
Having such games is nothing new for the 2019 Twins. The eight home runs in a single game ties a franchise mark and it’s the second time this season Minnesota has reached the tally. The first time was April 20 in Baltimore. The franchise record was originally set on August 29, 1963 in a 14-2 win over the Washington Senators.
Twins on Pace to Break Single-Season Record
The 2019 Twins (33-16) are on a historic pace of hitting balls out of the park. Through their first 49 games, Minnesota is averaging exactly two home runs per game with a total of 98. If the Twins continue to hit at that pace, their total would be 324 after 162 games. That mark would not only break the previous record for home runs by one team in a single season set by the New York Yankees in 2018 but would do so by a huge margin. The current record is 266. The increase would represent an upgrade of 58 homers or almost 25 percent.
Whether or not the Twins will break the single-season home run record remains to be seen but what’s certain is that Minnesota’s offense is one that opposing pitchers need to respect.