Just two days after his last home run, Alex Rodriguez managed to add another two dingers to his collection. One went a very, very, very long way, the other was a straight shot over the fences. On Friday night, A-Rod hit a solo homer, a two-run home run, and a single while also scoring four RBI and winning the game against the Rays almost singlehandedly.
Here's a look at home run no. 1:
The first dinger came in the second inning off Nathan Karns and served to be the first run of the game for either team. It proved to be a real monster shot as it traveled a true distance of 477 feet, making it the furthest-hit ball of the season. The home run was also the fastest off the bat as well, traveling at a speed of 115.3 mph out of the park. Friday ended up being a good day to hit bombs because Starling Marte (460), Russell Martin (443), Yoenis Cespedes (431), and Jonny Gomes (430) all hit dingers over 430 feet, but none were as far as A-Rod's.
Like the other homers that A-Rod hit, this one was also hit off a four-seam fastball in the upper part of the zone. Karns missed his spot badly, so let's hope teams continue to make this mistake to him:
This one might have actually been above the belt, but a 92 mph fastball is going to get destroyed by A-Rod if it's thrown in that vicinity. We know this by now and it's amazing how pitchers have not picked up on that yet. Maybe in time, if he hits enough, teams will start to realize he can still play and they'll stop making those mistakes to him, but until then let's just enjoy the ride.
Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez heat map ... crushing pitches up in the zone so far pic.twitter.com/rBMPqeLkHB— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) April 18, 2015
Here's a look at home run no. 2:
Adam Warren was unable to hold the lead, and with the Yankees losing 2–4 in the sixth inning, A-Rod hit his second dinger of the night to tie the game up and give the team a chance to score more runs. This home run off Ernesto Frieri 389 feet and had a horizontal angle of 125.8 degrees and an apex of 68 feet, meaning that it was a really low line drive of a home run down the right field line.
His first home run was hit in his normal upper-zone sweet spot, but this pitch was a little more inside, which, because he's A-Rod, is a pitch he still likes to. He clearly likes pitches on the inside part of the plate and it allowed him to turn on the pitch and hook it down the left field line.
It turned out that even after both home runs, Rodriguez's night was not done as he would later deliver the go-ahead run himself in the eighth inning and lock up the win. At this early point in the season, A-Rod now leads the Yankees in hits, home runs, RBI, triple-slash, wOBA, wRC+, and WAR. Let's see how much longer that continues. We have two more home runs before he reaches Willie Mays and it looks like they'll be happening sooner rather than later. At the moment, A-Rod is hitting home runs about every nine plate appearances, so he could be collecting an extra $6 million before we even reach May.