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What happened to J.J. Hardy’s home runs?

Jun 2, 2014, 11:51 AM EST

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

J.J. Hardy has picked a bad time to forget he’s a power hitter. With free agency around the corner this offseason the Orioles shortstop has yet to homer in 47 games and 193 plate appearances this season, which is awfully strange considering he smacked 25, 22, and 30 homers in the previous three years and has averaged 22 homers per 160 games for his career.

Dating back to last season Hardy has now gone 70 games without a homer. Also odd: Hardy, who’s a career .262 hitter, has a .306 batting average and is within shouting distance (.702) of his lifetime OPS (.738) despite the lack of pop.

Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun asked Hardy what’s going on:

I’ve got no explanation. Yeah, obviously, it crosses my mind, but I try not to think about it as much as I can. I think the same approach, hits will keep coming. Honestly, whenever I’ve hit homers, it’s always come in bunches. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I’m going to continue to try to put good at-bats together and get on base, and hopefully, the homers come. … I feel pretty good physically.

Baseball is weird.

  1. paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Voodoo.

    Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion used voodoo to steal HRs from players throughout the league, including everyone that plays in the state of Missouri.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Wrong sir!

      • baberuthslegs - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        What is “Vodoo” that is mentioned in that .jpg?

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        That’s funny, I was so happy I found that perfectly appropriate pic while googling for the aliens Magic guy that I didn’t even notice the misspelling.

      • paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

        I HATE that guy. The hair is funny, but the fact that the freaking HISTORY channel will put idiots willing to say anything on a show is so annoying….because many people will believe that crap and we don’t need to encourage people to believe in such things.

      • moogro - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        There’s a need for a Real History Channel. That doc on WW1 and WW2 (with interviews from Dick Cheney for some reason) was the strangest, most inaccurate thing ever.

  2. Eutaw's Finest - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    The same thing happened to Markakis a few years back when he caught SLOP (Spontaneous Lack of Pop) and has never been the same since. Granted, he has shown the same side effects as Party Hardy has recently (increase BA despite lack of pop) but for some reason they just can’t go yard anymore.

    And he needs to fix it and soon. He is trade bait at the deadline if the O’s are out of it, and if they are still in it, they need him to start raking.

    Lord knows Crush Davis isn’t gonna do it for us anymore…

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Crush has been the biggest surprise for me so far. I knew he wouldn’t repeat last season, but his swing was so fluid, so easy I figured he’d hit mid 40s at least. And with Cruz raking, there is absolutely zero excuses for it.

      • dowhatifeellike - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        He’s getting a steady diet of fastballs up and in and he just can’t connect. I’m not sure if he’s trying too hard or just not seeing the ball very well. Last year he hit those so well that he got a lot of breaking stuff, and he hit that too. Now he can’t hit either.

      • psuorioles - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Not to mention… he swings at every ball in the dirt. I agree that he wasn’t going to copy last year’s production, but for most of the season, he has been a hole in the lineup.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        IF Adam Jones and his abysmal plate discipline can still rock a steady BA then there is ZERO excuse for Davis. Pitchers adjusted, and he did not. He just looks to be a split second behind pitchers on the high heat. Not sure what his deal is.

        Personally? I’m blaming his new bambino: he’s gone 2 for 25 with 13 K’s since coming back from paternity leave. No bueno.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      “SLOP” Lol! I dig it Eutaw. And I am gonna’ use it.
      Strangely, everyone on the Cardinals’ roster NOT named Jhonny Peralta seems to be inflicted with the same thing Nick Markakis was stricken with a few years back.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    He didn’t make offerings to Jobu and he didn’t use hats to keep his bats warm over the winter. Recipe for disaster.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      They just put that movie on Netflix instant steaming today! I know what I’m watching tonight.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      LOL!! I always loved that movie. I especially like the line about “he leads the American League in most offensive categories, including nose hair.”

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        OK, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called “two in a row”. And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a “winning streak”… It has happened before!

    • joeflaccosunibrow - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      No. What happened was their Jobu offering was rotisserie chicken.

      Dammit, Jobu likes fried chicken!

  4. jpalughi823 - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    i’ve scratched my head why he hasn’t hit any yet but he’s been hitting more consistently so i’m not real mad. he’d probably have about 8-10 HR’s in years past but he’d be hitting .230-260, where he’s now hitting over .300

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