Game-Changer: John Jaso Homers

Last Friday, I wrote that John Jaso needed to make a pitcher or two pay in order to get out of his slump. Tonight, he hit—perhaps—the longest home run of his career. The ball landed deep in the right field bleachers in an area reserved for the real left-handed power hitters—your Carlos Pena, David Ortiz, Gabe Gross types—not for contact-conscious catchers, but that’s why they play the games.

The bomb came off Phil Humber—Chitown slang for Kyle Davies—on the second pitch of Jaso’s first at-bat. After throwing Jaso one fastball up-and-in for a strike, Humber decided to throw almost the exact same pitch. Jaso, all the wiser, turned on the pitch and plated Casey Kotchman (who reached on a line drive single) as well as himself, giving the Rays an early and ultimately insurmountable lead.

Jaso now has six home runs in his major league career, with the others coming off Dan Haren, Rich Harden, Ricky Romero, Jeremy Guthrie, and Bud Norris. Oddly, it’s only the third-most valuable homer of Jaso’s career per Win Probability Added at 21.3 percent. Jaso’s homers off Romero and Norris both added 21.4 percent to the Rays chances of victory.

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