There were 1,060 home runs hit in the month of May. That makes for the second-highest total for a single month in the history of Major League Baseball. The record was 1,069 in May of 2000.
But baseball wasn’t just homer happy in May. As our Matthew Pouliot noted this afternoon, we continue to be on a record pace for homers overall. Indeed, we’re on pace to shatter the existing home run record:
The why of it all is still up in the air. Some combination of upper-cut swinging and the decision by hitters to eschew compact, strikeout-avoiding swings when behind in the count likely explains a lot. As it is, we don’t have any guys hitting 60 or 70 like we did 15 years ago. We have a TON of guys who hit 20, though. It’s a league-wide thing, not just the work of some freakish sluggers.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.