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Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun hit back-to-back homers in ninth to complete Brewers’ comeback

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With the Brewers trailing 4-3 and down to his team’s last strike, Christian Yelich launched a game-tying solo home run to right-center field off of Cardinals reliever Dominic Leone. With the very next pitch, Ryan Braun walked the Brewers off winners with a solo home run to left-center against Leone.

Yelich was also responsible for kickstarting the Brewers’ rally in the eighth, when they scored twice to get back in the game. He led off the frame with a ground-rule double, then scored on a one-out single by Travis Shaw. Shaw later came around to score on a Jonathan Villar two-out single.

As Jon Morosi notes, Braun’s walk-off home run was his first since September 13, 2011, when he hit one off of Matt Lindstrom of the Rockies. The Brewers are now 4-1.

And as MLB Stat of the Day notes, Tuesday’s game between the Cardinals and Brewers was the first game in baseball history to both start and end with back-to-back home runs. The Cardinals’ Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham opened up the game with homers off of Brewers starter Chase Anderson.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.