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The Schmuck Stops Here

Sports The Schmuck Stops Here

Matt Wieters takes a big left turn

When switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters homered in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night, it was his sixth home run of the season and all of them have come from the left side of the plate. That's not a tremendous statistical anomaly, since a decided majority of his at-bats are going to come against right-handed pitchers, but it stands out because he has a history of displaying more power batting right-handed.

Last season in particular, Wieters was almost three times as likely to homer against a left-handed pitcher, based on the ratio of home runs to at-bats. He hit 11 homers from each side of the plate in 2011, but he had 405 plate appearances left-handed and only 142 right-handed. Overall, he came into this season with one home run every 26.2 at-bats hitting right-handed and one ever 38.9 at-bats left-handed.

No. 6 was anomalous all by itself. Wieters hit it a high fly ball the opposite way and left fielder Eric Thames looked like he was going to make a leaping catch, but the ball bounced off his glove and cleared the fence. It wasn't exactly a Jose Canseco head ball, but it was difficult to tell for sure whether it would have gotten out of the ballpark without help.

Thames homered for the Blue Jays earlier in the game, but there was no question about his towering shot off Tommy Hunter. The ball cleared the flag court above right field to become the 58th home run in Oriole Park history to land on Eutaw Street.

      

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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