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Wladimir Balentien hits home run number 54 — and it was on an awful, awful pitch

Sep 10, 2013, 9:18 AM EDT

Wladimir Balentien is one home run away from Sadaharu Oh’s Japanese record. He hit number 54 this evening.

I have no idea if anyone is trying to pitch around him to prevent him from getting the record — some background on all that here — but if they are good luck. Check out his 54th homer. The pitch was up at head level:



Dude is gonna swing at everything between now and the end of the season. And he’s gonna probably hit it.

  1. nolanwiffle - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    From where I sit, it looked like a “gyro ball” that didn’t gyrate enough. Sayonara!

  2. levistahl - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    When we were at the Swallows game a week ago, Balentien was being pitched carefully while not being pitched around. And every ball that was close to a strike he was swinging at like a Loony Toons character: just absolutely coming out of his shoes and almost falling over. It was great fun to watch. (And the home crowd loved it.)

  3. deepstblu - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Remember, the important thing for a hitter is to know where YOUR strike zone is. For Wladimir, it looks like it’s up around his eyeballs.

  4. Jason Collette - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    above his chin – near nose level & he still got enough backspin to hit it that far.

    • samu0034 - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      “still”? Is he somehow supposed to hit the top half of the ball way up there?

  5. daveitsgood - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Well there were 2 strikes and 2 outs, so it looks like they were just trying to go up the ladder for a strike out. That being said, if you’re going up the ladder, throw it faster than 151 km/h, I mean really, we here in the states don’t understand the metric system, for all I know that could be either 50 mph or 300 mph /sarcasm

    • eightyraw - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Yep, this is 94mph fastball on a 1-2 count thrown by the second-best pitcher in the NPB. This is a strikeout pitch, not an attempt to work around Coco.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      it’s about 94 MPH

      • daveitsgood - Sep 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Thanks guy who can’t figure out sarcasm even when it’s explicitly stated as sarcasm.

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