On-Air Now
On-Air Now
Listen Live from the Casino Matrix Studio

Krukow gives two reasons why Giants’ crazy home run numbers will continue into playoffs



© Neville E. Guard | 2021 Aug 11

The San Francisco Giants lead the major leagues in home runs. Let that sink in. From 2015-19, the Giants were bottom five in total home runs every year. They haven’t been in the top 10 in MLB since 2010. Now their 191 homers this year are four better than the second place Twins.

Such a drastic improvement might seem like a fluke, even if the team finished 12th in home runs last season, a huge improvement from being 26th (167 home runs) in 2019. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow doesn’t see it that way, however. He pointed to two factors that are contributing to San Francisco’s home run boom, both of which he sees being sustainable through the postseason.

“You can’t just look at the home run, but how they hit the home run,” Krukow said on ‘Murph and Mac’ Wednesday morning. “What is their intention when they get in that batter’s box. This is the most disciplined team I’ve ever seen to the pitch. They go up there with the idea that they’re going to look for a pitch, they are going to look for a speed, they’re going to look for a movement, they’re going to look for a location, and they stay on it. That is hard. That takes concentration, that takes practice, that takes a lot of reps in a very positive way to reinforce the philosophy of that at bat.”

The stats back up what Kruk is saying. The Giants see an average of four pitches per plate appearance, the third highest amount in the majors and the most in the National League.

“This is what the genius of this coaching staff has been. They’ve been able to create a way to be able to have an entire team, lineup and bench be more consistent in the discipline they have to take their at-bat. Look for a pitch. Lay off all the other stuff you get until you get your pitch, and be able to barrel it when it comes in. This is what this club has done that has allowed them to have a great year, not only hitting home runs but winning ball games.

“Do I see this going away in the playoffs? Absolutely not. That discipline is not going to go away. This is what makes them good.”

There are external factors as well according to Kruk. Ever since the Giants covered up the archways in right field and shrunk center field with the addition of new bullpens, hitting home runs has never been easier at Oracle Park.

“The environment has changed,” Kruk continued. “It changed last year when they put a scrim sheet over the gate on the right-field side by the port walk, and the archways where the wind would come through and it would affect the play of the game. After they put scrim sheet on it last year it kind of livened up the right side of the field. And it livened up centerfield as well. Couple that with the fact they brought the fences in and whoo, runs are going out.

“If you walk the port walk right now, they’ve covered it up for good. They put plexiglass out there. So that ballpark is never going back the way that it was. So right field is playing like we thought it was going to play when they opened the doors in 2000. There’s carry there. Not only that, it affects the carry to right-center and center. So now we have a much more home run friendly ballpark then we’ve ever seen.”

Listen to the full interview below.