I’m calling this a pseudo-inside-the-park-home-run, just like David DeJesus‘s back in April. The home run was ruled, after the game, as a standard, non-inside-the-park variety tater, but that’s not how it played out on the field. Oakland’s Conor Jackson tried to catch the ball in the leftfield corner, but he missed and the ball bounced away from him down the line. Jackson didn’t give chase, though, which caused Jose Bautista, who was running pretty hard out of the box (this was no sure-thing), to put on the jets as he approached second. He ran his hardest from there, and crossed home plate standing up for what everyone thought to be the 18th inside-the-park home run of the year. Technically, I guess it wasn’t, but it deserves to be judged with the rest of the inside the parkers (though it does give Bautista the slowest IPHR-trot of the year).
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We are more than accustomed to seeing Russell Branyan in the slowest trot of the day spot. It seems that he’s there just about every time he goes yard. But I don’t think I’d blame him for being upset at finding himself there today, as his 23.89 second trot is a middle-of-the-pack time most days of the week. Last night, however, it was the slowest of the eleven home run trots hit across the league. Some guys don’t get any breaks.
As said above, Bautista’s pseudo-inside-the-parker gives him the slowest of the inside-the-park trots of the year. The next quickest trot of the day belonged to Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, who raced his out in 17.57 seconds. And, if the Pirates dugout was on the first base side of the field instead of the third, it would have been much faster (possibly even challenging Bautista’s time). When a runner knows that he has to turn to the right to go to the third base-side dugout after striding through home plate, they almost always slow themselves down in the last few steps so they can make the 135-degree turn as soon as they touch the plate. It’s a big detriment to great speeds, as McCuthen’s run proves (I think this is the case for many of Marlon Byrd‘s trots too). There’s nothing much we can do about it, though.