Giancarlo Stanton‘s smacks, Aaron Judge‘s jolts and all those dizzying long balls helped Major League Baseball move another poke closer to the inevitable. Nearly two decades after the height of the Steroids Era, the sports is on track to break its season record for home runs on Tuesday – and not just top the old mark, but smash it like one of those upper-deck shots that have become commonplace in the Summer of the Slugger. There were 5,663 home runs hit through Sunday, 30 shy of the record set in 2000. Juiced balls? Watered-down pitching? Stanton’s renaissance? Sensational starts by Judge and Cody Bellinger? “I don’t think that we are ever going to have a single explanation for exactly why we’ve see so many,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “But players are bigger and stronger. They’re playing a little differently, in terms of the way they swing. Pitchers throw harder. The one thing I remain comfortable with: Nothing about the baseball, according to our testing, is materially different.” There were 5,610 homers last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year’s average of 2.53 projects to 6,143. That would be up 47 percent from 4,186 in 2014.
MLB league-wide single season home run record set to fall Tuesday
Hardball Talk | Sep 18