Sometime during the festivities, before Young hit that transcontinental missile off Woody, Nationals' broadcaster Bob Carpenter was giving Woody all kinds of praise for being the Wily and Crafty Veteran.
It was during this tirade that Carpenter made the statement that sure, Williams had given up 21 [at the time, mind you] home runs, but he bet that 15 of 'em were solo shots.
To put it mildly, I doubted this. Woody's ERA seemed all the proof that was necessary to maintain that some of the jacks he'd given up were just a touch more damaging than simple solo shots.
I had the blogpost written in my head: full of the outrage that I would at the very least feign. How could Carpenter say such an patently untrue thing? All in service to the myth of the crafty veteran. A crime, is what it was.
So I looked it up, and guess what? Carpenter was right. Not exactly, but definitely in substance.
Whether or not Woody had given up exactly 15 solo homers or not, Carpenter was implying the Woody the crafty veteran was limiting his home runs to less damaging situations.
And sure enough, he does appear to be doing this.
I don't know how much of this talent, if talent it be, you can attribute to Woody's crusty veteran status, because Chris Sampson, a veritable babe, seems to do an even better job of the homer damage control: an amazing 13 of 15 home runs allowed by Chris have come with the bases empty. How can that be an accident?
I'm sure the bullpen would look quite different, but for a starting staff that is second in the NL in homers allowed, it at least appears to have controlled the bleeding.
Now, I have no idea what other staffs look like. Maybe this is a trend throughout baseball. But I don't think that other staffs can say, for example, that they've given up only five three-run homers all year, or actually had given up only two through the All-Star break.
Hmmm. Maybe this article is a little late.
Perhaps if the staff had this talent as a whole, perhaps it is now deserting them. After all starters had given up only the two three-run homers through the break, Roy and Wandy and Woody have each given up three-run shots in the last week.
|Game High, RBI Allowed on Homers|
- Albers has given up all his homers in a starting capacity
- Wandy, in his meltdown game in Chicago the other day, becams the first Astro pitcher all year to give up a solo shot, a two-run shot, and a three-run shot all in the same game.
- Matt Albers is the only pitcher besides Wandy to have given up two multiple-RBI homers in the same game.
- Wandy is the only Astro starter with more than one three homer game. His other one consisted of three solo jobs.
- Woody and Chris each gave up two solo shots and a two-run jack the one time they had a three-homer game.