Baseball games can be weird for a lot of different reasons. It could be the score, the stats, maybe a position player got to pitch. What constitutes this game “weird” is that it encompasses two things that, as far as I can find, have never coexisted in a baseball game before.
The game occurred on July 7th at Chase Field, with the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the San Diego Padres. The NL West is usually a competitive division, this could be a good one. However, the Padres ended up last in the NL West standings this year, and the Diamondbacks finished third. Ok, so this game did not decide who went to the playoffs or who won the World Series. What could possibly make this game important?
I’m glad you asked. Nothing makes this game important, it only exists for us to laugh at for the rest of time. The game featured a pitching match up between Tyson Ross of San Diego, and Robbie Ray of Arizona. The pitching is not what made this game interesting, however. The Padres had a good game at the plate, swatting four home runs. If only that figure even began to give the full story of this game. To start, if the bases had been loaded for all of the Padres’ home runs, they still would have lost.
Wil Myers hit three of the Padres’ four home runs, and knocked in four of their five runs. A great game by Myers, as three home run games don’t come around very often. The interesting part, however, is that Myers’ team lost this game by 15 runs. A team winning a game by 15 runs, as the Diamondbacks did, is not common, but it is believable. A player in that game hitting three home runs, as Wil Myers did, is not common, but it is believable. What is not believable is that the player hitting those three home runs was on the losing side of this contest.
Teams scoring runs via the long ball isn’t new, and it happens more and more today. Saying that the team that hits more home runs in a game is likely going to win is a reasonable statement. However, the Padres hit two more home runs than the Diamondbacks in this game and not only lost, but lost by 15 runs. If the Diamondbacks had the same home run to run ratio as the Padres, they would have needed 16 home runs in this game to score what they did.
There’s roughly a 0.02% of any player hitting three home runs in four plate appearances, which is what Wil Myers did in this game. Just by pure probability, we should have one of these games every eight seasons. That’s pretty rare, and we were blessed to have one in this game (the league average numbers make this feat seem impossible, however individual players are good enough for us to see three home run games multiple times per season). The probability of losing a game 20-5 is much lower, coming in at about 0.005%. That means that we can expect to see another occurrence like this in roughly 2,286 years. So if you did not already appreciate the weirdness of this game, appreciate this is very likely the only time you’ll ever see it happen in your life.
A game like this is like a comet, it won’t be around again for a while. That’s why we have to savor it while it is still in our recent memories. This game didn’t decide who won the World Series, neither of these teams came close. I’ll admit, the game should not be labeled as “important” as much I enjoy it. What it is, however, is pretty damn funny. If we can learn anything from this atrocity, it’s that sometimes it sucks to be a Padres fan.