By: Brian Mangan
Unabashed Phillies hater here, bringing you the following Public Service Announcement.
Domonic Brown is the hottest hitter on the planet. If you are tasked with pitching to him — just give up. Don’t bother. WALK HIM. Fake being injured. Demand a trade. Do whatever you can to not pitch to the man.
Everyone knows that Brown is on an impressive hitting streak right now, but it has gotten to the point where, as a fan, you begin to ask yourself, “is this the hottest that someone has EVER been?” If not, “when was the last time someone was as hot as this?” The quick answers are no, it’s not completely without precedent — but it’s rare as hell.
These are absurd questions, I know, but Brown has been so absurdly good that it is a challenge to put a finger on when exactly the last time was that we’ve seen anyone this hot. Here is what Domonic Brown has done in the last eleven games coming into today:
He’s batting .395 (pretty good), with a .422 on-base percentage (just okay) but he’s got a 1.093(!!!!) slugging percentage. He had hit 9 home runs in the last 11 games BEFORE HITTING ONE TONIGHT. So yes, that’s ten in his last twelve. That’s a 1515 OPS prior to tonight, when it will undoubtedly increase.
This means that in his last 47 at bats, he has ten home runs. That’s a season pace of approximately 135 home runs. He’s been so good that people are just not writing about it anymore (the Phillies recap from today barely mentions Brown, as if his going yard was so mundane as to barely warrant notice).
It is hard to tell without access to a database (or paying for baseball-reference) how historic this type of run is, if it is indeed historic. But I can (and this is just a Quick Hits segment, after all) take some educated guesses.
Every young fan worth his salt knows that the record for the most consecutive games with a home run is 8. Most kids of our generation would probably know that Ken Griffey and Don Mattingly share the record, but Dale Long has also done it. Every fan also knows that the record for home runs in a single game is four. But neither of those are necessarily indicative of dominance equal to what Brown has accomplished in the last dozen games.
So I figured I’d take a peek at historic home run binges that I know of. The record for home runs in a single calendar month is 20, which was a record set by Sammy Sosa in June 1998 (link). The record for home runs through May 31st of a season is held by Barry Bonds in 2001, who had 28 (link).
In Sosa’s 1998 home run party, he had two stretches that were equivalent or better than Brown’s. He had an eleven game stretch from June 15 to June 25 where he hit 11 home runs, but did so with a lower OPS than Brown (1368). He also had a ten game stretch where he hit 11 home runs with a 1696 OPS. Wow. Bonds had a 14 game stretch where he hit 14 home runs (1926 OPS) and, within that stretch, nine home runs in only SIX games for an OPS of 2604. For the record, in Mattingly’s streak, he happened to hit ten home runs in only eight games (1812 OPS). But he failed to hit any on the four games before or after, making his dozen-game stretch at least equal to Domonic’s (his best stretch was a 1568 OPS).
Ultimately (steroid questions and disparate offensive levels aside), it appears that Brown’s run does have some precedent. But it is undoubtedly one of the more impressive tears we’ve seen in recent history.
Oh, and I forgot — it’s ongoing. It might not be over.
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Brian Mangan is …. oh my god who cares, Domonic Brown just hit another home run.