Just as everyone expected, Edwin Encarnacion’s third homer of the season was of the inside-the-park variety.
In the second inning of Monday’s game, the 35-year-old slugger smashed an 0-1 fastball from Angels right-hander J.C. Ramirez down the left field line. The ball hit the yellow paint below the foul pole, but left fielder Justin Upton seemed to think the ball was foul. He neglected to chase after it, giving Encarnacion ample time to chug around second base and get waved home by Mark Sarbaugh.
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As Edwin turned on whatever his version of turbo jets are, Upton finally retrieved the ball and opted to try to throw past his cutoff man. The baseball bounced into no-man’s land as Encarnacion crossed the plate standing.
Oddly enough, it’s not Encarnacion’s first inside-the-park home run. He apparently hit one while with Cincinnati back in 2007, when he was a still-spry 24-year-old. We’re not sure if this makes the feat more or less fascinating; the mere idea of Encarnacion making it around the basepaths was far beyond our comprehension an hour prior to us publishing this article. If you’d have told us this would happen at 10:00pm ET before the game started, we’d have either told you to try to troll us with something more realistic, or perhaps assumed that the entire Angels outfield burst into simultaneous narcoleptic spells.
To give you an idea of just how unlikely this was to happen, please note that Encarnacion has only had one TRIPLE in the past three seasons. According to Fangraphs, his baserunning “skill” in 2017 was ranked at -8.4, good for the fourth-worst mark in all of major league baseball. But on this particular play he found his third gear and chugged around the basepaths like a grizzly bear fleeing a swarm of bees.
Our only regret is that amidst Encarnacion’s sheer tunnel vision towards home plate, we did not get to see him flaunt the parrot.
Photo courtesy of Erik Drost, via Flickr.