Juan Soto’s home run off Gerrit Cole was a thing of beauty, no matter what the stats say
Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto hit a home run off Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole that literally has to be seen to be believed — seriously, the official stats on that sucker don’t do it justice.
The Nationals ended Cole’s 19-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series. Soto struck out swinging at a 99-mph fastball in the first inning but was ready for Cole the next time around in the fourth.
“After the first at-bat I was like, ‘He’s throwing really hard,’” Soto said. “But I just try to sit back and hit the ball all the way.”
That’s just what Soto did on the second pitch he saw, sending the 96-mph fastball well over the left-field wall for a monster home run that tied the game at 2-2.
It finally landed on Minute Maid Park’s famous railroad track.
According to Major League Baseball’s Statcast, the ball left Soto’s bat at 106 mph, reached a height of 106 feet and traveled 417 feet. None of those numbers are even in the top 10 for home runs this postseason. It wasn’t even close to Soto’s longest home run this month — he launched one 449 feet off of the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 of the — you know what? Never mind.
The point is, Soto’s shot off Cole was a thing of beauty, no matter what the numbers say. Take another look.
The blast came three days before Soto’s 21st birthday, making him the fourth youngest player to hit a home run in the World Series.
And that was just part of his magical night. Soto also doubled off the wall to drive in two more runs the following inning and added a single in the eighth. He later said he would give the home run ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
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