Dallas Keuchel believes there’s a reason for the home run festival that is the 2017 World Series.
The Houston Astros pitcher told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale on Wednesday night he believes baseballs now are constructed to fly farther than ever.
“Obviously, the balls are juiced,” Keuchel said following the Astros’ thrilling 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series. “I think they’re juiced 100%. But it is what it is. I’m just glad we came out on top.”
The Astros and Dodgers combined for a record eight home runs in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, with a record five of them coming in extra innings.
Both World Series single-game marks merely following a recent trend, which revealed itself during the regular season when players hit 6,105 total home runs, shattering the previous record by move than 400.
Keuchel, who allowed two Dodgers home runs in Game 1 during the Astros’ 3-1 loss, believes that’s no accident.
“There are really powerful guys in this league and they’re going to get theirs,” he said. “But where you can tell a difference is the mid-range guy who’s hitting 20-plus home runs now. That doesn’t happen. That’s not supposed to happen.”
NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra suggests the changes to the ball-manufacturing process in 2015 are responsible for the league-wide long-ball trend. Keuchel seems to agree with the theory.
“That’s what Major League Baseball wants,” Keuchel said. “They want that exciting two home-run lead, and then they (the Dodgers) come back and hit another home run, and everybody’s still watching. That’s what they want. That’s what they’re getting.”
Who cares about the awful truth when everyone loves dingers, right?
Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images