BALTIMORE -- Mark Trumbo's home run on Monday night wasn't just notable for the O's slugger being due. No, the high fastball from Gio Gonzalez was outside the zone -- way outside the zone -- and Trumbo got a hold of it for a memorable solo homer in Baltimore's 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals.
"It's a good pitch. High. I turned to J.R. [bench coach John Russell] and said, 'I'm not really sure what you tell your pitcher," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the pitch Trumbo sent into the left-field seats. "It's one thing to look up there and … That's where they pitch a lot of guys, but if you can get the barrel over your hands there, you can make some good things happen."
Trumbo's homer was on a pitch that was 4.62 feet off the ground according to Statcast™, which was the highest hit for a homer since the pitch tracking era began in 2008. The home run topped a 4.56 feet high pitch that the Giants' Hunter Pence took deep in 2014. In the Statcast™ era, the previous record was held by the Astros' Evan Gattis, who homered off a pitch 4.38 feet high in 2015.
"I think we were all surprised, even him rounding home," Gonzalez said of Trumbo's homer. "So it's just, tip your cap."
Perhaps the unusual blast, which sailed 417 feet with an exit velocity of 108.8 mph, will be exactly what a slumping Trumbo needs. He entered the game with just two homers on the season and the O's are hoping Trumbo can get back to the form that saw him lead the Majors with 47 homers in 2016.
"He was pretty hot last year, so he hit some pitches that were definitely balls," former Oriole and current Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. "But that's what's funny about this game: You can see some pitches that a guy may be struggling with, and then all of a sudden it can change in the blink of an eye. He put a good swing on a ball that was a ball."