A strange home run during the World Series will live in Astros’ history for a long, long time.
The 2017 World Series concluded back when the city of Houston wasn’t a frozen tundra. Don’t you worry, though, the heat will be back just like the Astros in 2018.
In the meantime, the Hot Stove has been rather, well, not hot. It has been a rather Cold Stove for most teams. Outside of the Gerrit Cole trade late last week, it has been a relatively quiet off-season for the Astros.
Alas, I have resorted to reviewing old plays from the 2017 season and postseason. And as I begin my research of the most interesting plays from an Astros’ player, I can’t help but find myself watching Carlos Correa‘s improbable home run from Game 5.
Again and again.
In a way, the Correa home run off Brandon Morrow captured the World Series in a snapshot. The unexpected happened. For example, the Astros got to Kenley Jansen twice in this series. Clayton Kershaw was phenomenal in Game 1 and Game 7, yet wasn’t for Game 5. A battered bullpen that was held together just long enough by Brad Peacock, Lance McCullers, Joe Musgrove and Charlie Morton, all starting pitchers at some point in 2017. And the Astros would’ve been fortunate to win just one game at Chavez Ravine, much less two games.
It was a World Series to remember. And this is why Correa’s home run captured the essence of this series in a nutshell. To bring together my point, this pitch was relatively high and the swing wasn’t exactly a “home run” kind of swing. Like the Astros throughout the World Series. It never seem like they were in the driver seat. Like the home run, the series outcome that occurred wasn’t exactly obvious from the start.
This was one of those swings that you weren’t quite sure what to expect. I remember thinking that this may be high foul ball down the left field line or simple fly out to left field. I was afraid that one of the Dodgers’ fielders would catch it for the first out of the seventh inning. At the time, I wasn’t exactly confident that a one-run lead would hold in this game. I was later proven right.
The result itself was a home run that had a 47 degree launch angle and an 105 MPH exit velocity. This was not something that you see every game at the ballpark. Per Andrew Simon of MLB.com, the ball had only a 11% hit probability. Wow.
Like, seriously, I just wasn’t expecting a home run from this pitch.
Then again, this baseball game was pure craziness once the scored was tied 4-4. Still, wow.
Thankfully for baseball, none of the players came away with a strained neck from watching this ball travel.
Or the fans. The poor fans at this game as they constantly had to contort their necks to watch all of the home runs in this particular Sunday night in Houston. All seven home runs. At the same time, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for the fans. They got to witness one of the most memorable World Series games in history in person.
By the way, let us express thanks for the Crawford Boxes.
This high fly ball by Correa wouldn’t have cleared as a home run in most, if not all, ballparks besides Minute Maid Park. The Astros, in a strange way, were truly fortunate. While I am not normally into what could’ve happen scenarios, just imagine the difference in this World Series if the Astros held home-field advantage? Either way, George Springer may have still been the MVP of the World Series regardless of the venue.
While I move on to other interesting plays that occurred during the Astros’ championship season, this one will always be on the forefront of my mind. Yes, the dinger only added a .066 WPA (Win Probability Added). Only Brian McCann‘s solo shot in the next inning posted a lower WPA out of all the home runs in this game. Yet, this was one of the strangest home runs I have ever seen. Strange is sometimes a good thing, though.
**Statistics and information courtesy of Fangraphs, MLB.com and Baseball Savant**