What’s behind the unusually large home run production this year? Everyone seems to have a theory.
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, the National League starter Tuesday night, said the reason is simple — harder-throwing pitchers have made hitters adjust their strategy.
“The pitching is better at this stage than what it has been in the past,” Scherzer said. “That has forced the hitters to become better. Competition raises everybody’s level, and so the hitters had to become better hitters. The only way you’re going to do damage to some of these (pitchers) is to keep swinging for the fences, keep going for the home runs.
“The pitching is so good now you just don’t see six consecutive singles anymore. Guys throw too hard and have too nasty off-speed stuff, so that model — let’s just string six hits together and score three runs — well, that might not be the most efficient or best way to play this game. The hitters quickly identified, ‘Hey, if we swing for the fence a little bit more often, we can actually score more runs. Instead of scoring three, maybe we can score five runs.’ “