The year of the home run in Major League Baseball has seen numerous records fall, including countless players who will be setting personal, team, and rookie homer records. But as the Baltimore Orioles found out, not all of these new marks are positive.
The Orioles tied the mark for the most round-trippers given up by a team in a single season, as Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals hit the 258th home run off of Baltimore pitching on Wednesday night.
Several Teams Could Pass Record Mark
That matches the mark set by the 2016 Cincinnati Reds for the most dingers ever allowed by one team. And with 34 games remaining in the season for the Orioles, it seems safe to say that they will not only break the record, but smash it.
Baltimore might not be the only team to put the Reds record in the rear-view mirror this year. The Mariners are on pace to give up 275 homers this season, and the Yankees, Angels, and Phillies are also all on pace to break the previous all-time mark.
But none of them are close to the pace being set by the Orioles, who are currently trending towards allowing an astronomical 329 home runs this season, obliterating the previous worst.
Hyde: Orioles Pitching Must Improve
After Wednesday’s game – an 8-1 win for the lowly Orioles, in which they hit four homers of their own – manager Brandon Hyde acknowledged that the team will have to do a better job of containing opposing hitters next year.
“We’ve given up a ton of homers,” Hyde told reporters after the game. “What’s the record, 258? So, if it’s 259 or 330, I don’t care. I just want us to get better on the mound and obviously finish this year and go into next year trying to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark and staying off the barrel, but home runs are up.”
While it doesn’t entirely explain why Baltimore has struggled so mightily, it is true that Major League Baseball is experiencing an unprecedented power surge in 2019. Most of the blame appears to be aimed at the ball, which has produced similarly inflated numbers at the AAA level.
But obviously, not every team is allowing such absurd numbers of homers. Baltimore is going through a rebuilding phase, which means the club is sending a lot of players out onto the field to see if they might be a part of the team’s future, including dozens of different pitchers. According to CBSSports.com, 33 Orioles pitchers have allowed at least one home run this year, with nine allowing at least 10 on the season.
Those numbers don’t add up to a lot of wins, and the Orioles currently sit at 41-86, 41.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East. Baltimore may well be spared the embarrassment of finishing with the league’s worst record, though, as they sit 1.5 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers at the bottom of the league standings.