2009, Homerun Heaven?
Posted by simon c on 2009 April 18日 Saturday
It seems like we’ve seen a lot of homeruns so far in the 2009 NPB season what with all the 3 homer games (with Kanemoto doing it twice in 3 days!). Is the ball livelier this season? And if so why would Japanese baseball go in the opposite direction from international standards?
Anyways, it’s still early going, but I compared the number of homeruns with last year’s figure and here’s what I got (before today’s games).
CL 2009: 37 Games 71 HR = 1.92 HR/G
PL 2009: 37 Games 69 HR = 1.86 HR/G
CL 2008: 1.69 HR/G
PL 2008: 1.74 HR/G
So, CL has seen a whopping 14% increase in homeruns (with the bigger park in Hiroshima to boot!), and PL has seen a 7% increase. 37 games is still too small a sample size, so we may see the homerun rates regress to 2008 levels, but we are definitely seeing more homeruns in early 2009. Are teams ordering more tightly wound balls? Who knows. It’s interesting that more homers were hit in the bigger PL parks last season than the CL with a couple of bandboxes (Hiroshima, Yokohama) and a homer friendly Tokyo Dome. This probably needs deeper digging before making any conclusions.