Roy Oswalt gives up home runs. All pitchers do, but it's been well chronicled 'round these parts that Roy does so a little more frequently than Astros fans would like. It's not like he's a fly ball pitcher, either. On the contrary, he has a history of being adept at getting ground balls much more often than not. Maybe it's because he has the reputation of being an aggressive strike throwing (a reputation that is probably well deserved)?
Well, whatever it is, Minute Maid Park tends to hurt a pitcher's cause more than it helps him, in regard to allowing the long ball. Head on down to the bottom of that list though, and you'll find the San Diego Padres home ballpark, Petco Park. Petco suppresses home runs more than any other park in the majors, save one.
Here is a chart displaying Roy's thirteen home runs allowed in 2009. In terms of standard distance, the jacks against him have ranged from the modest (Andre Ethier's 351 ft home run) to the gargantuan (Manny Ramirez' 449 ft blast earlier that same inning as Ethier's).
This got me to thinking: if Roy's home park were Petco Park instead of the Juice Box, would his home run total go down in 2009? To start, I looked up the dimensions of the park, and a visual representation of the stadium and where the home runs have actually been hit.
Factors such as time of day, temperature and wind strength/direction notwithstanding, it looks as though Roy would defnitely have allowed at least one fewer home run- the 351 ft shot to Ethier would have fallen somewhere in the field of play. Todd Helton's 372 ft. home run, most likely leaves the park in Petco Park as well.
While his "at home" home run total would have only decreased by one, it's still interesting to ponder these type of things. The information that all of us have at our fingertips makes it all possible to play these sort of scenarios out.