Sports

Homers at Yankee Stadium Down from Last Year

| by Sliding Into Home

OK, I know it's just five games, which is nowhere near enough time to come to any conclusions, but by this time last year people were already calling the new stadium a joke and a bandbox so we might as well check out how the first week went. Here's the report from the AP:

New Yankee Stadium no longer is playing like a bandbox.

While 21 home runs were hit in the five first games last year during the $1.5 billion ballpark's first season, just 11 balls have gone over the fence during the first five games this season.

"Early on I felt like last year obviously the ball was really, really carrying," Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte said Saturday. "But then what we noticed toward the end of the year is depending on where the wind's blowing, you can't hit it out of here sometimes. And obviously I think you've seen that already a couple times this homestand, when that wind is blowing in, that flag is blowing in from left, that ball just really, really gets held up."

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Home runs were hit in 80 of 81 games at Yankees Stadium last year, the first major league stadium with home runs in all but one regular-season game. New York became the first team to go deep in 73 home games.

The only game without a home run at Yankee Stadium was on June 18, when the Washington Nationals won 3-0 after a 5-hour, 26-minute rain delay at the start.

Already this year there have been two games without a homer -- on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels and on Friday night against the Texas Rangers.

Let's get down to the raw numbers, shall we?

HitTracker.com plots all homers hit in each ballpark and here's their data for the first four games at the new stadium:

DateHitterPitcherType/
Luck
True
Dist.

Std.
Dist.


04/15/10
Matsui, Hideki
Kazmir, Scott
PL
410


412

04/15/10
Jeter, Derek
Kazmir, Scott
PL
353


356

04/15/10
Cano, Robinson
Kazmir, Scott
PL
375


375

04/15/10
Cano, Robinson
Kazmir Scott,
JE
385


385

04/13/10
Johnson, Nick
Santana, Ervin
ND
421


429

04/13/10
Jeter, Derek
Santana, Ervin
PL
409


410

04/13/10
Morales, Kendry
Park, Chan Ho
ND
384


385

04/13/10
Abreu, Bobby
Robertson, David
PL
390


389

If you're wondering what JE, ND and PL stand for, it's Just Enough, Plenty, and No Doubt. So, based on all of this, I'd say the only homer that wouldn't have gone out at the old place was Cano's that's highlighted above. As far as the shots from Saturday's game, I think Jeter's homer would have gone out at the old place as well, while I'm not so sure about A-Rod's and Nelson Cruz's shots.

Again, five games isn't enough of a sample size to come to any conclusions, but so far it appears that the stadium isn't playing as small as it did at the start of last season. Let's see how things go from here.