This week, something happened in baseball that had never happened before. For three consecutive days, a player has had a three-home run game. On Tuesday, Robinson Canó went yard three times. The next day, Paul DeJong hit three dingers. Then on Thursday, Nelson Cruz took Lucas Giolito deep three times. It was an unprecedented display of power and consistency even if we’ve seen this many three-homer games in the same span as recently as last year.
According to @EliasSports this is the first time in MLB history where there's been a 3-HR game in 3 straight days July 23, July 24 & July 25.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 26, 2019
However, the last time there were three 3-HR games in a 3-day span was April 30-May 2, 2018 where multiple 3 HR games were on the say day pic.twitter.com/1Kpc8plWUu
That alone would have been remarkable enough, but the streak continued last night when Mookie Betts hit three home runs in a rout of the Yankees. We had never seen three-homer games on three consecutive days, and now there’s been four with a chance for a fifth.
I’ve been indifferent to the home run surge. Differences in offensive environments are inherent to the game. I thought that since players and strategies are always changing, the home run rate would fall on its own eventually. Regardless of my aesthetic preferences, it’s all still baseball.
But there are too many homers now, right? We know that the league is on-pace to set an all-time high. The 4,278 homers hit in 2019 have already eclipsed the total hit in 2014. A lot of home runs isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this is getting out of hand.
Three-homer games are supposed to be special. Jarrett Parker might not have a long and lustrous career in the majors, but he should be able to tell his grandchildren about his three-homer game without them saying, “Big deal, that happens everyday.”
We’d expect Canó, Betts, and Cruz to have three-homer games. Canó and Betts are future Hall of Famers and Cruz’s whole things is that he hits dingers. But Paul DeJong had a chance to tie the major league record for most homers in a game. Scooter Gennett is already rubbing elbows with Willie Mays and Lou Gehrig. Do we really need more middle infielders with average power tying or setting home run records?
Last night the Twins hit their 200th home run of the season with two months left to go. The Giants have hit 200 home runs as a team twice in the last 30 years, and they had the Home Run Pharaoh of the Infinite Void on the team for 15 of those years. They’ve done it just five times since 1883. Meanwhile, the Twins are bashing their way to history with Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver.
Today, there’s a chance that a fifth player has a three-homer game. With the ball as lively as it is, anyone could do it. If I had to guess who will continue the streak, I’d say it’s Mark Canha or maybe Kole Calhoun.