Red Sox record 32 HR on the road in one season, by David Ortiz (2006)
My first thought when seeing that number? Boy, that’s a lot of home runs. The second? Imagine if Fenway were more conducive to his swing!
In 2006, Ortiz hit 54 home runs. (Also a team record.) That means he hit more home runs on the road than he did at home. Almost 50% more. That’s pretty significant. Imagine if he played his home games in, say, that Little League park in New York. What would his numbers be like then?
32 is still a great number. Heck, lots of players don’t hit 32 home runs in a season. 32 homers would have led the team in 2012. And 2011. And 2010.
Do be able to put up those kinds of numbers away from your home park has to say something, right? At the very least, it has to imply that Ortiz isn’t a fluke. He’s not a production of his home park. There’s no Coors Field effect going on here. Ortiz can just hit home runs, no matter where you put him.
Anyone who has seen his towering moon shots has to be aware of that already.
He hits a lot of them.
I also start to wonder if advanced analysis would give a reason for that output. Are the Red Sox trailing more often in road games, so he gets pitched to? Will other teams pitch to him more in the top of the ninth than the bottom of the ninth? Does he get fewer at-bats at home because there sometimes isn’t a bottom of the ninth to bat in?
Or is it just easier when you don’t have to hit the ball 380 feet?
32 is for the 32 road home runs David Ortiz hit in 2006.