Early in Monday’s game between the Royals and Astros, Yordano Ventura tried to come inside against Carlos Correa, and he hit him. A little less early in the same game, Ventura again tried to come inside against Correa, and this time Correa did the hitting:
This calls for the usual screenshots to highlight the event’s subtle absurdity. The moment of contact, paused:
Clearly, an inside pitch, off the plate, although the stupid camera angle messes with our perception. Thankfully, the Gameday window doesn’t operate with a senselessly off-center angle:
Now you get it. First-pitch fastball, inside, not particularly close to being a strike. And yet, a dinger! And not one of the cheap dingers. This one was clobbered, even though the pitch was more than eight inches inside from the inner edge of home plate.
It’s not the first time Correa has done this. A 2015 leaderboard of right-handed hitters who’ve homered on pitches at least a half-foot inside from the edge of the strike zone:
- Carlos Correa, 3 such home runs
- Matt Duffy, 2
- several players, 1
Correa leads baseball in this admittedly arbitrary category, and only he and Duffy have done this multiple times. Correa’s Monday home run was one of the most inside pitches hit out of the yard on the year, and while one could argue Correa would be better off taking these pitches instead of swinging, since he won’t always go deep, Correa has proven his ability to turn inside pitches around. He can, at least, do more damage on these pitches than most. It’s not an accident — he works hard on keeping his hands in, which is what lets him get out in front of these.
Correa just batted a third time while I was writing this. The first two times, Ventura tried to work him in. The third time, Ventura tried to work him away. Correa slashed a tie-breaking double down the line in right field. He’s good at that too.
Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.