Red Sox pitchers give up a pair of cheap home runs
A home run counts no matter how far you hit it but as a pitcher, you know when you’ve given up a cheap one. Eduardo Rodriguez could only shake his head when Yuli Gurriel hit an opposite-field pop-up 315 feet down the right field line that clanked off the Pesky Pole.
Fenway is the only major league park where that ball is a home run. The Red Sox should be used to that against this Astros team by now. Gurriel’s homer was the second-shortest in the majors this season. The shortest? That would be the 310-foot shot that Jose Altuve hit into the Crawford Boxes in Houston.
The Astros weren’t done torturing Red Sox pitchers with the long-ish ball. Altuve nearly dropped to one knee to golf a slider 354-feet into the Monster seats. That pitch was 0.85 feet off the ground, the lowest pitch hit for a home run since the start of the 2018 season.
The homer came on an 0-2 count when Darwinzon Hernandez was trying to get the batter to chase a slider diving out of the zone but Altuve somehow made contact. Prior to that, opposing hitters were 2-for-27 with 20 strikeouts after falling behind in the count 0-2 to Hernandez in his career.
Gurriel’s homer had an exit velocity of 92.9 mph while Altuve’s was 93.5 mph, per Baseball Savant. That’s the first time this season that any team has hit multiple home runs in the same game with an exit velocity of less than 94 mph. It’s only the 37th time this has happened in the Statcast era (since 2015).
The damage ultimately only mattered to the ERAs of those two pitchers but E-Rod and Hernandez must feel like they’ve been the victims of some bad luck that those balls left the park.