Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day Oddity

You may have heard about Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark's performance in today's Rockies-Diamondbacks game. The two switch-hitters each had two home runs and they both hit one from each side of the plate. As the AP recap noted,
Lopez and Clark became the first switch-hitting teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in a game since Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams did it for the New York Yankees on April 23, 2000. It had never been done on opening day.
In fact, today and that Yankees game are the only two times that's happened since 1954. More generally, two switch-hitters have each homered twice in the same game only five times in that span:
  • Today, obviously - Lopez homered off RHP Aaron Cook in the 1st inning and LHP Glendon Rusch in the 4th inning. Clark homered off Cook in the 3rd and Rusch in the 5th.

  • September 25, 2008 - The Rays' Ben Zobrist hit two home runs off RHP Armando Galarraga, one in the first inning and one in the eighth. Meanwhile, the Tigers' Ramon Santiago homered off LHP Scott Kazmir in the 1st inning and the 3rd inning. Obviously each guy's home runs were from the same side of the plate.

  • July 4, 2003 - Bill Mueller and Jason Varitek both homered twice for the Red Sox against the Yankees. Mueller homered off LHP David Wells in the 6th inning and RHP Dan Miceli in the 9th inning. Varitek homered off Wells in the 3rd and 6th.

  • The aforementioned April 23, 2000 game - Bernie Williams homered off Blue Jays RHP Frank Castillo in the first inning and LHP Clayton Andrews in the fourth inning. Jorge Posada hit round-trippers off the same pitchers but in the second and fourth innings.

  • August 14, 1996 - In the second-last season of his career, Eddie Murray hit a home run off RHP Jeff D'Amico in the third inning of a game against Milwaukee. He followed it up with a home run off RHP Ricky Bones in the 8th inning. His teammate Roberto Alomar drove one out off D'Amico in the 2nd inning and hit a homer off LHP Ron Villone in the 8th.
The long and short of it: for at least forty years there weren't any games featuring 2 HR by two switch-hitters but today saw the fifth one since 1996.

No comments: