Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Three-HR games coming fast and furious
So who’s going to be next to hit three home runs in a game?
On Monday, Corey Hart hit three home runs, the first three of the season for him, in the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3 victory over the Washington Nationals. According to Elias, Hart was the first player since Dmitri Young in 2005 to hit his first three homers of the season in the same game.
Hart’s efforts were the fourth game this season where a player hit three homers in a single game. All four have come in the last 11 days. Jason Giambi (May 19), Jose Bautista (May 15) and Carlos Beltran (May 12) all accomplished the feat before Hart.
According to Baseball Reference, it’s the first time there’s been four instances of a three-HR game by May 24 in a season since 2003. That year, Richie Sexson (April 23), Aaron Boone (May 8), Carlos Pena (May 19) and Geoff Jenkins (May 21) all had three-homer games before May 24.
Hart’s efforts were the first by the Brewers since Jenkins’ exploits in 2003. It also came on the nine-year anniversary of another mega-HR game at Miller Park. On May 23, 2002, Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit four HR against the Brewers to become the 14th player in MLB history with a four-homer game. No National League player has done it since Green.
For Hart, Giambi, Bautista and Beltran, it was their first career three-HR games each. So who might be next to record their first career three-HR effort? According to Elias, the player with the most career home runs without a three-HR game is Vladimir Guerrero with 441 career homers.
But who had a “true” three-homer game, meaning their hit would have gone over the wall in all 30 parks. The website Hit Tracker has the ability to do that type of tracking. Using that model, none would have all three of their respective homers clear the fence in all 30 parks.
Beltran, Bautista and Giambi each had two which would have cleared the wall in all 30 ballparks while Hart had one. The closest to having all three blasts being homers in all 30 parks was Beltran. His first homer off Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies would have been gone in 27 of the 30 parks.