Welcome to This Week In Dingers! Here’s a look at your weekly leaders for home runs in NPB. The full chart of every home run this week in both leagues can be found below.
July 19th, 2016 at Meiji Jingu Stadium (136m / 446′)
Situation: 1 out in the 9th, no runners on base
Victim: Ryo Akiyoshi
With the game tied 8-8 in the 9th, Tsutsugo faced off against Akiyoshi. Akiyoshi was pitching to Tsutsugo very carefully and deservedly so as he’d had already homered in the game and was on a HR streak. Sadly for Akiyoshi, he wasn’t finished. With a 3-1 count, Akiyoshi attempts to throw a breaking ball that was on the outside part or at least off the plate as he was probably willing to walk Tsutsugo… but it just ended up spinning right over the middle of the plate and straight into Tsutsugo’s bat. A short time later the ball was halfway up the bleachers and the Baystars took a 9-8 lead which ultimately won them the game.
July 20th, 2016 at Meiji Jingu Stadium (140.5m / 461′)
Situation: 1 out in the 5th inning, no runners on base
Victim: Yasuhiro Ogawa
Tsutsugo already had a good game prior to this one. Why not have another 2 homerun game? His first of the night turned out to be a massive one. With the game tied 2-2 in the 5th and a 1-1 count, Ogawa decides to try and jam Tsutsugo in with a fastball. It leaks over the plate a bit but he hit his spot. Sadly for Ogawa, it doesn’t really matter. Tsutsugo turned around on it so hard that we honestly can’t make a good estimate for this one (ranging from 137m to as much as 144m). Not only did the camera guy lose it, it seems a lot fans lost it too. Thankfully there were SOME clues to where it landed… but not many. It’s also possible the ball just exploded on impact.
July 22nd, 2016 at Nagoya Dome (144.5m / 474′)
Situation: 1 out in the 3rd inning, no runners on base
Victim: Raul Valdes
With the Swallows only up 1-0 in the 3rd and with nobody on base, Valdes might have felt he could get away serving soft stuff to Balentien. He was wrong. Very wrong. Valdes breaking ball stayed outside but it did come back over the plate a bit. Balentien crushed it far, far away. However, I feel that when most people saw this homerun, they were of course impressed, but perhaps not as impressed as they should be. Why? This homerun landed at the BACK of the batters eye/seating area… if you don’t know, that’s at least 136m away from homeplate. Yet that is NOT the most impressive thing about this homerun. Based on it’s angle of descent, it’s easy to tell that it would have gone much further, as far as perhaps 147m! So this is a nice reminder that while most homerun distances are exaggerated, some can be underestimated too. With that said, let it be known that this was a mammoth homerun and deserves your recognition.
Central League Home Runs – Week 18
Pacific League Home Runs – Week 18
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