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Juiced Balls 2020 Edition

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by lnchan, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. lnchan

    lnchan LeonardTX26
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    Hopefully Strom can get his pitchers to adjust to be more ground ball happy... but this is insane.

    From the Athletic...

    2. When did Dodger Stadium turn into Williamsport?
    Like Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser and every other living American who was born before, oh, like 2017, I spent most of my lifetime thinking of Dodger Stadium as a pitcher’s park. So I’m not sure when they secretly imported the dimensions from the Little League World Series park in Williamsport, Pa., or possibly a giant vat of mile-high Colorado air. But what the heck is happening?

    Let’s put it this way:

    Home runs by the Dodgers in this postseason: 2
    Home runs by the A’s and Astros at Dodger Stadium in this postseason: 18!
    Fun side note: Dodgers led the entire sport in home runs this year!

    But back to the A’s and Astros. In Game 1 of their AL Division Series, those two teams combined for six home runs. In Game 2, they slammed five more. Wednesday, in Game 3, they pounded seven. Really?

    There are so many ways to tell you this ain’t normal. But how ’bout this: Remember Kirk Gibson’s 1988 Dodgers, your World Series champions? That team didn’t even hit 100 home runs all season. But at this rate, if they kept playing in Dodger Stadium, the A’s and Astros would hit 100 in two and a half weeks! And you can feel free to look that up.

    So I knew deep in my heart, even before I began this noble research project, this was not a thing that humankind had ever before witnessed at Chavez Ravine, or even in a century’s worth of Octoberfests. But thanks to my friends at STATS Perform, we can now prove it.

    THREE CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 5+ HOMERS? According to STATS, there has been just one other stretch — in the entire 59-season history of Dodger Stadium — in which the two teams playing there combined to hit at least five home runs in three games in a row. Except there’s one difference between those three games — back in 2017 — and these three games: The Dodgers went on a road trip in the middle of them!

    • June 11, 2017 (8): Reds 4 HR, Dodgers 4 HR
    • June 19, 2017 (8): Mets 4 HR, Dodgers 4 HR
    • June 20, 2017 (5): Mets 0 HR, Dodgers 5 HR
     
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  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    How about the fact that there hasn't been this many day games in recent Dodger playoff history... let alone 12:30 or 1pm local starts.

    Its clear that the warmer/dryer air will help contribute to the ball carrying this time of year. I doubt MLB is using different balls for this series alone. Surprising that an elite journalistic outfit such as the Athletic couldn't present that as a possible reason...
     
  3. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    For the most part, the juiced ball recently has been one with less drag. That may be happening, but I doubt it is the predominant factor (the homer that Lance gave up that he threw his hands up on traveled about as far as normal, slightly shorter if anything). There have been almost double the amount of 100 mph+ balls hit in the air this series than are normally hit in Dodger Stadium during the playoffs. Humidity in the air doesn't make much of a difference except regarding storage of baseballs. A wet ball isn't as bouncy. A dry ball travels further. LA and Mil just a few days ago had very poor results regarding pitch percentage hit 100+ mph balls between 20 and 40 degrees. Atlanta (2018) and Washington (2019) went off similarly to what Houston and Oakland are doing while LA was powerless so this is completely out of the ordinary except it is the first time both teams are doing it. As such, while humidity and juiced balls may play a factor, I think we have a case that hitters are just smacking the sh!t out of balls as the predominant driver.

    Caveat: If LA's weather has dramatically changed for more heat/less humidity or the ball storage has changed to areas that get more heat, that would likely be the cause.
     
    #3 Joe Joe, Oct 8, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Looking at LA weather, the humidity does change a bit more during the day than in Houston. Though the balls are stored in air conditioned rooms such that I wouldn't expect the swings in humidity to be as severe for ball bounciness. I still think batters/pitchers are the predominant factor, but wouldn't rule out lack of humidity making the balls bouncier during the day.
     
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  5. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    The regular changing of mound height was eventually prohibited. In 1950, teams settled on a height of 15 inches for the mound. Despite this regulation, some teams were accused of using a higher than regulation height mound; Dodger Stadium was particularly notorious for having a high mound. Following the incredibly low scoring in 1968, the rules were changed to reduce the mound to the contemporary 10 inch height.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/pitcher's_mound

    If MLB wanted to change the offensive numbers, they could simply change the mound height which they have done before. In all seriousness, why would MLB play this deceptive secretive game of changing the balls when they have other, obvious means?

    Interesting that Dodger Stadium was mentioned specifically for mound tampering.
     
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  6. conquistador#11

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    Whatever it is, a rip in ozone, Astros better get in 9 home runs today just to be safe.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Ex players have said as much. Ball travels different during day games vs night games.

    There aren’t normally 1pm starts there in the playoffs.
     
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  8. Fulgore

    Fulgore Member

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    Juiced baseballs and players. Makes the game much more entertaining
     
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  9. msn

    msn Member

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    I'm not.
     
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  10. RayRay10

    RayRay10 Houstonian
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  11. banzai

    banzai Contributing Member

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    Fake news. You can stir Sh!t up just by throwing out some random facts.. doesn’t mean it’s the truth. As long as we win. Bahahaha
     
  12. PhiSlammaJamma

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    San Diego has a short porch in center, lol. This ought to be interesting. Think we would be better off in pitching duels vs.the Yanks. We need an october cold front.
     
  13. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    So? It's not a bandbox or anything.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Starting to believe that maybe MLB needs to look into how balls are stored in LA. The way the ball jumped off the bats of A's players was remarkable. Astros batters...all those 100+mph drives were legit and not dry ball aided.
     
  15. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Pitching and the home team’s offense has a lot to do with those numbers. MMP has ranged from being one of the easiest to one of the hardest.... simply based on the quality of the Astros pitchers as well as hitters (and where the strength of each was at any given time).

    Based on the last few years, where the Astros have been elite at both... it seems like MMP does play more fair than originally thought.
     

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