Giants break rules, hit home runs, throttle Padres

Denis Poroy

Suspensions for hitting the ball over the fence should be announced shortly.

The Giants hit six home runs from July 2 through July 30.

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Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs from May 21 through September 3.

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Lookie here, then. The Giants hit six home runs in a single game. Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs for the first time since Game 1 of the World Series, which the Giants won, which we don't even need to bring up tonight because the most recent game is a really, really fun one to talk about.

This seems like a good time to talk about the mercurial nature of home runs. Dingers, if you will. What makes a dinger? A lot of purple foam and a soulless pig-person. But we're talking about the dingers that go over the fence. What's the difference between the home run and a hard-hit double or a hard-hit out?

In the future, they will have metrics to figure this out. They won't be stats, really, but amalgamations of numbers and laser-divined information. Missed opportunities on pitches up in the zone. Meatballs missed. Meatballs clobbered. There will be a way to see if a hitter is hitting a fluky amount of mistakes. There will be a way to figure out the league-average number of mistakes a hitter sees in a season, and with that, a way to figure out what the average hitter does with those mistakes. I can't wrap my head around it, but that's for Roberta Neyer to figure out in 2040.

Until then, we just have to assume that every home run is the result of a hitter doing what he's trying to do, and an extreme lack of power is a collection of hitters failing to do what they're trying to do. It's simplistic. And it seems prehistoric.

Really, Sandoval having three homers since May 21 before tonight? That's fluky. Dan Ortmeier had six in 157 at-bats in 2007. I don't care about the reasons for Sandoval's power outage, if it has to do with his foot injury, his hand injuries in the past, or his weight gain/loss/gain/loss. It's fluky. It's not a problem with his mechanics. It's him calling scissors when the pitcher threw rock several hundred times in a row. It's something that is extremely unlikely to repeat itself.

Is that explanation overly simplistic? Well, yeah. I figured you knew which site you were on. But I wasn't about to believe Pablo Sandoval was a 10-homer guy from here on out.

And it's not just Sandoval. Buster Posey hasn't hit a home run since July 20. He's hit three home runs since June 30. You've seen Posey's natural power. You've seen how the ball jumps off his bat. You've seen his hard-hit outs during this prolonged slump.  How has he gone over a month without a homer? You can guess mechanics. You can guess a lack of mental fortitude. I'm a guessin' fluke. He'll have stretches like this in the future. They just aren't going to come at the same time his entire team is going through the same stretch.

Think about guys like Roger Kieschnick and Juan Perez. Both have hit dozens and dozens of homers in the minors, but they can't run into one in the majors. Khris Davis is the Roger Kieschnick of the Brewers, and he has eight home runs in fewer than 200 at-bats since being called up. That's the sort of thing that'll happen when you distribute home runs randomly.

The Giants are a million monkeys on a million typewriters rapping "lol no dingers" out on a keyboard over and over again.

Or maybe they're this bad.

That's a question for tomorrow, haters! Because on September 4, 2013, the Giants hit six home runs at Petco Park and scored 13 runs. The obligatory list of games with 13 runs or more in recent years:

Rk Date Opp Rslt
1 2013-08-16 MIA W 14-10
2 2012-08-08 STL W 15-0
3 2012-08-03 COL W 16-4
4 2012-05-24 MIA W 14-7
5 2011-07-02 DET W 15-3
6 2011-06-28 (1) CHC W 13-7
7 2010-09-23 CHC W 13-0
8 2010-08-24 CIN W 16-5
9 2010-07-07 MIL W 15-2
10 2009-07-03 HOU W 13-0
11 2007-07-01 ARI W 13-0
12 2007-06-01 PHI W 13-0

I stopped it at 12 to highlight all of the 13-0 games. Freaky.

It was a fun game. Meaningless? Maybe, but I wouldn't go that far. Pablo is svelte again, and all that's missing is the production. He pulled an all-nighter to cram for this one, then. All of his season stats took a big jump up. And as a grown man who is this close to thinking about possibly considering not laughing too hard at the grown men who wear panda hats, let me assure you that I'm rooting for Pablo Sandoval on the Giants in 2014, 2015, and 2020. Games like this are a good sign.

But don't overdo it, Pablo. Let's keep the hometown discount in play. Going nuts before your walk year isn't going to help anyone. Except you. Which is totally selfish. A little flash like this, though, to tempt the Giants into thinking he's a long-term solution? To tempt us into believing he is a long-term solution? A good thing. Always, always, always a good thing.

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Starting to wonder about Jose Mijares as a long reliever instead of a lefty specialist. Will crunch some numbers on "the Internet" and get back to you.

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