Mitch Moreland and Meaningless Home Runs
One thing that I have noticed this year has been fan reactions to the home runs that Mitch Moreland has hit with several people saying they are meaningless. Now I know that a run is a run regardless of the situation, but I thought I would look more into it. Just so you understand a meaningless home run is usually when a player hasn’t done anything all game and then finally hits a solo shot in the last three innings that has little or no effect on the outcome of the game. For example if a player goes 0-for-3 and then in his fourth at bat in the eighth inning he hits a solo shot with his team down 10-3 and, if in those previous three at-bats he left runners on base, then it’s a meaningless home run. It looks nice as far as stats go but where was your bat when we needed it most?
So have any of Mitch’s home runs been meaningless this season? As of this writing he has hit ten. In those games in which he has homered Texas has gone 6-3 (he had a two homer game on May 17th. Those ten home runs have resulted in 14 RBI. And in those games he has left a total of 11 runners stranded on base.
So what can one gather from that data? He’s broken a couple of ties and in one game (May 17th) he provided the majority of the offense. I could only find one good example of a meaningless home run and that was the 10-3 win. And yes, only two of his home runs came before the sixth inning, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been productive all year. Or does it? He only has eleven more RBI off non-home run plays giving him 25 for the season.
Whatever the case may be it’s obvious that Moreland seems to find a groove as the game goes on which is indicated by the late inning home runs with five coming in the eighth inning. And it’s really not fair to label any home run as meaningless. I just wish, like many fans do, that he would hit them with runners on, as six of his dingers have been solo shots. However, the Rangers’ problems with RISP is another article entirely.
ames Holland is a Senior Columnist for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or@SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.