Last week it was Melky Cabrera. Tuesday night it was Isaac Galloway‘s turn to rob Kris Bryant of a big hit to the opposite field. Bryant’s been in a bit of a funk so far this season as he has fallen out of his typical finely-tuned mechanics to lunge at pitches that he ends up swinging through. He’s working on a physical fix, but some of it might be mental.
Even as intimately familiar as baseball players are with failure, it can be a real bear to do everything right — or hit everything right — and still come up short. Like having the Melk Man snowcone a freaking laser beam after a long run or seeing Galloway track down a ball hit 381 feet at 101 mph off the bat.
Trouble is, the right-center power alley at Marlins Park is 24 feet deeper than at Wrigley. Bryant hits that ball at home, which is something he’s been waiting to do for a while now, and someone’s catching it in a Solo cup of Zombie Dust. Instead, it was just a loud out. But do you realize just how improbable that is?
According to Baseball Savant, hitting a ball that hard with a 26 degree launch angle should result in a .700 batting average. That’s literally the opposite of the old adage about how even the player who fails seven times out of 10 is a Hall of Famer. Of the 12 batted balls in the game with higher xBA (expected batting average), 10 fell for hits. The remaining two died in Albert Almora Jr.’s glove.
Bryant was 0-for-5 with a strikeout in this one, but it didn’t feel quite as bad as some of the previous games in which he’s looked lost at the plate. He’s working to improve his hand path and bring his bat through the zone at a better vertical angle through the zone, so it’s only a matter of time before things start turning around.