Thursday, September 20, 2007

Matt Holliday of the Colorado Rockies is currently on a home-run explosion, having hit 11 in his last 12 games. Holliday is known for the gaudy distances of some of his homers, as immortalized in this 2006 blast I found on YouTube.

It took Holliday until September 2 to get his 25th homer of the 2007 season. He's now, of course, up to 36 homers, a 44% increase from when he was at 25 (11/25) in less than three weeks.

Holliday's streak has prompted me to seek out other similar ones.

The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, whose tendencies to hit homers in bunches I analyzed in an earlier posting, began the 2007 season by hitting 12 homers in 15 games.

Another seemingly good place to look was at players who had set (or come close to) single-season records. During Barry Bonds's 73-homer season in 2001, his most scorching stretch appears to have taken place from May 17-22, during which he hit 9 homers in 6 games (game-by-game log).

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 also seemed worth looking at. A few years ago, I found a copy of Race for the Record: The Great Home Run Chase of 1998 (a fancy magazine-type volume with side-binding) on sale for $2.99, so I was able to consult the charts within. In the eight games from May 18-25, McGwire had 9 homers. Sosa, of course, had the 20-homer month of June; at his hottest during that month, he hit 11 dingers from June 15-25.

By focusing only on big-name home-run hitters in the last decade, I'm sure I'm missing other great homer binges. I invite readers to add other big homer stretches (with documentation please) via the Comments link, below.

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