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2019 officially the most homer-happy season of all-time

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We saw it coming a mile away, but the 2019 season is now officially the most homer-happy season of all-time. Collectively, players had homered 6,084 times this season, entering Wednesday’s action 21 shy of tying the 2017 season at 6,105. It only took a couple of hours to match it.

Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien hit the record-tying homer, a solo shot in the fourth inning against Astros starter José Urquidy to temporarily tie the game at 1-1.

There was a league-wide lull in homers for about 20 minutes before Orioles shortstop Jonathan Villar hit a three-run home run off of Dodgers reliever Caleb Ferguson, breaking a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning.

On a rate basis, the 2019 season blows every other season out of the water. We’ve seen an average of 1.4 home runs per game this year, quite a bit more than the 1.26 per game average of 2017. The 2000 season is in third at 1.17 homers per game.

With a few weeks left in the season, the league is on pace to finish the year with over 6,800 homers. There are myriad factors into the sharp increase in home runs, but far and away the biggest factor has been the baseball.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.