Fun With Numbers: Vernon Wells On Pace To Shatter Home Run Record

↵Sure it's only three games into the season, but Vernon Wells is already on pace to shatter the single-season home run record. Wells has four homers in just three games, putting him on pace, right now, to hit 216 bombs this year for the Blue Jays. Seriously, that would shatter the old record. To further indicate how dominant Wells has been in the first three games of the season, he's also on pace – along with Miguel Cabrera in Detroit – to knock in 378 runs. That's 187 more than the record of 191 set by Hack Wilson back in 1930. Amazing! ↵

↵

↵What's that you say? It's still early yet? Projections are hard to get excited about – and statistically irresponsible to calculate – after just three games? Especially if those three games were against a team with an average pitching staff? What fun is that when a guy has four homers in 10 at bats? Let's get irrationally excited for once. ↵

↵

↵Okay, fine, since 2007, the year after Wells hit 32 home runs, he's averaged just 17 homers a season. And sure, Wells didn't hit his fourth home run last season until the Jays 27th game of the year, but that's even more reason to focus on what he's doing now. Heck, per MLB.com, that's what Wells is doing: ↵

↵
↵⇥"It's cool to hit homers," Wells said. "But I'm not going to hit homers all year long like that, so I'm going to enjoy them while they come." ↵
↵The Jays went on to beat the Rangers 3-1, helped in large part by Wells' dinger in the top of the ninth to tie the game before the Jays continued the rally en route to the series-winning victory. ↵

↵But let's forget about Wells' barrage of home runs for a second. There's another great stat out there we can get people screaming "small sample size" about. Strikeouts! In fact, Oakland starter Dallas Braden had 10 of them in his first outing. If he gets 30 starts this year, that's 300 strikeouts. Mark it down now. ↵

↵

↵What's that? Braden only started in 22 games last year and had just 81 strikeouts in 136.2 innings? Hmm. What about Ryan Dempster? He had nine strikeouts in just six innings in his first start of the season for the Cubbies. Since going back into the rotation, Dempster had 187 and 172 strikeouts in the last two seasons in 206.2 and 200 innings, respectively. Right now, assuming 200 innings, Dempster is on pace – after one start – to have 300 strikeouts. Sure his career high is only 209, but it's just too darn much fun to speculate. ↵

↵

↵Not buying it? Okay, let's try Tim Lincecum, who led the NL in strikeouts the last two seasons with 265 and 261. He had just seven strikeouts in his first outing, so he's way behind the pace already. Ugh. And Justin Verlander, who led the majors with 269 last season in 240 innings pitched, has just six after one start. None of these pitchers are on pace to break any insane records, like Old Hoss Radbourn's NL record of 441 for the Providence Grays back in 1884. ↵

↵

↵Of course, this research leads one to truly appreciate how dominant Randy Johnson was from 1998-2002 when he averaged 349 strikeouts a season in just 255 innings per campaign. It took Old Hoss 678.2 innings to hurl those 441 strikeouts. Yep, Old Hoss pitched in 75 games in 1884, with 73 starts and 73 complete games, going 59-12 with a 1.38 ERA. It's a shame nobody's on pace for a season like that, small sample size or not. ↵

↵

↵This is all the more reason to celebrate Wells' early numbers. Hack Wilson knocking in 191 runs in 155 games can't be safe forever. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.