Tommy Hunter has allowed 32 homers this season – that’s a whole lot.
It borders on historic, actually.
Hunter is now in a five-way tie for 10th place all-time among Orioles for most homers allowed in a season. He is just four shy of breaking the club record of 35 – shared by Robin Roberts (1963), Scott McGregor (1986), Sidney Ponson (1999) and Jeremy Guthrie (2009).
All four of those pitchers, however, threw at least 200 innings; Roberts threw 251 1/3 in 1963.
Hunter, who leads the majors in homers allowed, has pitched 121 innings, meaning he averages 2.38 homers every nine innings. If that figure holds, he is headed towards having the highest homer-per-nine rate in the history of baseball for ERA qualifiers.
The current record is held by Houston’s Jose Lima (2000), who had a 2.20 mark.
The propensity to give up homers obviously bothers the affable Hunter. Here’s what he had to say after Wednesday’s game, when he surrendered three more in just three-plus innings.
“I don’t go out there and try to give them up. I don’t go out and say, ‘Hey, here’s a fastball up and over the plate. Here, take it over the fence and let’s lose the game.’ That’s not what I try to do,” Hunter said. “I didn’t do my job tonight. I didn’t keep the ball down and I didn’t give my team a chance to win. And as a starting pitcher that’s what you are supposed to do.”