There is a time when the Dominican rookie Oneil Cruz of the Pittsburgh Pirates, makes perfect contact with a baseball that unleashes a spectator’s inner child. As the ball goes up, you don’t think about wRC+ or wOBA, or DRS or OAA, or xBA or xSLG.
When the 2.01-meter-tall Cruz makes perfect contact with a ball and sends a ripple through the confines of a cathedral, there’s really only one thought that comes to mind, one that brings back to the audience one of the reasons why they fell in love with the game:
Where is that ball going to land? On a chilly Tuesday afternoon at PNC Park, on a night the Pirates beat the New York Mets, 8-2, the answer was the Allegheny River. In just the 30th game of his career at North Shore, Cruz became the last left-handed slugger to send a ball into the deep end, a feat that many believed would eventually happen, including Cruz himself.
cross, who recorded the first three-hit game of his career, he had no doubt that the ball had gone off the bat. He was some way off Tommy Hunter’s curveball, but Cruz has a history of turning awkward swings back and forth. What Cruz wondered as the ball rolled through the Pittsburgh night was if he had enough height to clear the right-field seats.
He certainly hit the ball hard enough — 113 mph, to be exact — and it traveled 422 feet. But unlike Rodolfo Castro’s terrifying two-run homer in the third inning, which hung in the air for 6.6 seconds before hitting the right-field foul pole, Cruz’s line didn’t go too far.
But he had enough, barely clearing the stands before bouncing into the river. A Mets fan, who had just watched his team lose by six runs, couldn’t help but raise both arms and let his jaw drop to the ground.
We would like to give thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable material
MLB: Out of the park! Rookie Oneil Cruz connects HR and the ball leaves the Pirates stadium