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Diamondbacks start game with back-to-back-to-back homers

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For the second time in less than three years, the Diamondbacks began a game with three consecutive home runs. Monday’s Phillies-Diamondbacks game in Philadelphia was delayed about a half hour due to rain, but the D-Backs were still ready.

Jarrod Dyson opened the game, swinging at a first-pitch fastball from Jerad Eickhoff, yanking it over the fence in right field. Ketel Marte then lived a 2-2 curve out to right field for another home run to make it 2-0. David Peralta worked a full count, then drilled a slider over the center field fence for dinger No. 3.

A team has begun a game with three consecutive home runs just six times since 1914, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs. Incredibly, the D-Backs have done it twice — most recently in 2017. They victimized Nationals starter Max Scherzer for a trio of round-trippers on July 21, 2017 in Arizona.

The ball is apparently flying in Philly on Monday night, though. In the bottom half of the first Jean Segura hit a fly ball that just barely escaped the fence in left field for a solo home run. According to Statcast, it had an exit velocity of just 91.4 MPH, a launch angle of a whopping 40 degrees, and an expected batting average of .010. All that means is that Segura’s fly ball is a routine out an overwhelming majority of the time. The pitch he it out, by the way, was 92.6 MPH, which made me wonder: how often has the exit velocity of a homer been less than the velocity of the pitch?

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.