Astros: Examining the unfortunate Daniel Descalso inside-the-park home run
During Thursday’s afternoon matchup between the Astros and Diamondbacks, we witnessed Arizona’s first inside-the-park home run in Houston since the Astrodome days.
Thanks to a weird bounce in the outfield, Astros‘ starting pitcher Mike Fiers surrendered his 29th home run of the season. There is so much to unpack in this one sentence.
First, Mike Fiers simply has had a home run problem. Then, he didn’t. Now he does again.
In Fiers’ first nine starts, he allowed 18 home runs. The next seven starts? Zero home runs allowed. The following starts after that homer-free stretch? 12 home runs. Fiers has had one start out of his last eight in which he didn’t allow a home run: July 21st in Baltimore.
Fiers has allowed 30 home runs in total this season. This ties him in second place with Mariners’ starter Ariel Miranda.
Ricky Nolasco of the Angels currently leads all pitchers with 31 home runs allowed.
Yay for the AL West?
To be fair, though, one of the two “dingers” allowed by Fiers yesterday was the inside-the-park home run by Diamondbacks’ utility player Daniel Descalso.
Let me set the scene.
The Astros were in the midst of being shut out by Arizona starter Patrick Corbin and one relief pitcher, Archie Bradley, for the game. Throw in an iffy strike zone and it’s easier to see why Houston’s offense sputtered again.
Anyway, Descalso came to the plate with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Fiers was able to get a Paul Goldschmidt to ground out to the shortstop and J.D. Martinez to strike out for those first two outs that inning. Quite impressive outs when you consider their hitting prowess.
Descalso then comes to the plate. He’s ready for whatever life throws his way.
Then the pitch!
Well, you can understand why the Diamondbacks’ hitter was able to crush this one to right-center field. The exit velocity on this 83.3 MPH changeup was 100.7 MPH!
At first glance, you had to wonder if this ball would enter the stands. It was hit at 416 feet.
Here come the Astros outfielders, Jake Marisnick and George Springer. Let’s hope they can minimize the damage if the ball stays in play. Maybe they can play it off the wall?
Welp, that was wishful thinking. Thanks to a weird bounce off the Geico sign, this ball darts into center field. Marisnick gives chase while Springer backs him up.
There goes Descalso about to round second base. Maybe a triple is in play?
Never mind as Marisnuck bobbles the ball when he is making the transfer.
Descalso easily scores and looks back to gauge what exactly happened in the outfield. Maybe he has a bit of immediate disbelief?
And Fiers picks up his 29th home run allowed in a bizzare way.
Here is a face of a man who hit just hit an inside-the-park home run in MInute Maid Park. Descalso is likely replaying the events over and over in his mind today.
Next: Winning is Important for the Top Spot in AL
Meanwhile, the Astros would lose to the score of 4-to-0. It was clearly not their day, and this one play is a fine example why.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Savant**