Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Delmon Young and postseason home runs

Delmon Young brings his Tuesday home run home.
Delmon Young, he of the career .425 slugging percentage, hit a home run Tuesday in Detroit's 2-1 win over the Yankees.

This gives him seven postseason dingers for the Tigers  — pretty impressive for 17 games, especially for a hitter who, in the regular season, has averaged 9.88 games per home run. A true power hitter, he ain't.

The broadcast crews for these games, be they TBS or Fox, love to tell us how Derek Jeter is the all-time leader in postseason hits, or — in Young's case — that Young is now the Tigers' all-time home run leader in postseason play.

This is misleading blather, because there are so many more postseason games now. The Division Series and the Championship Series do not equal the World Series.

Young (so far) hit his seven homers in 64 at-bats over four series in 2011 and '12. He has't played in a World Series yet, although it sure looks likely this year.

Hank Greenberg, the Hall of Fame first baseman who was a key figure in four World Series teams for the Tigers in the 1930s and 40s, hit five homers in 85 at-bats and 23 games. (Three of those World Series went seven games.) Greenberg's lowest slugging percentage in those four series was .571; he slugged .624 in World Series play, .605 for his career.

Young's power surge in the playoffs the last two Octobers has been essentially inexplicable, and good for him. Greenberg's production in his four World Series is essentially what he did in the regular season.

There's no comparison between the two. Young deserves credit for what he's done, but not at Greenberg's expense. 

No comments:

Post a Comment