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Behind the Box Score: Hitting triples at Comerica Park

It was the two-run triple off the bat of Jose Ramirez that proved to be the difference in a tightly contested win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. The IBI's John Alfes breaks down the triple-friendly conditions of Comerica Park...

When a baseball is lifted over the outfield grass at Comerica Park, there are likely a number of players on the dead sprint either chasing for the ball or circling the bases.

For Jose Ramirez in the fourth inning, a flyball just past the outstretched glove of the fully extended Tyler Collins ended up landing perfectly into the sizeable right-center field gap to not only plate two runs, but also set up Jason Kipnis for a manageable sacrifice fly to produce an additional insurance run and pad a 3-1 lead.

On first glance, Ramirez absolutely drilled this 0-1 fastball over the outside corner...

Result: Triple to right-center field

Distance: 380 feet

Pitch Velocity: 88.9-mph

Exit Velocity: 102.7-mph

Hit Probability: 77%

There is quite a disparity between Matthew Boyd's below-average fastball velocity and Ramirez's absolute rocket of a game-changing shot to yield the road nine's second advantage of the four-game set.

There is even more of a disparity between the spacious confines of Comerica Park and most other stadiums in the big leagues...


Aside from the hitters' paradises known as Coors Field and Fenway Park, Comerica Park ranks in the top third in terms of triples per game with an average of 1.283. 

Why is this the case?

Simply examine the dimensions of the ballpark that was originally built in 2000...

Left Field: 345 feet

Left-Center Field: 370 feet

Center Field: 420 feet

Right-Center Field: 365 feet

Right Field: 330 feet

Quite the comparison to the narrower confines of Progressive Field...


Left Field: 325 feet

Left-Center Field: 370 feet

Center Field: 410 feet 

Right-Center Field: 375 feet

Right Field: 325 feet

In simpler terms, the Tigers' ballpark is much wider and provides plenty of space for outfielders to roam around and chase down fly balls.

On the contrary, these distances also make it easier to hit a huge gap just like Ramirez did and force outfielders to run a half-marathon on one play...

Both Collins and right-fielder Jim Adduci (route above) hustled their way into a relay position while two runs scored and Ramirez reached third base standing.

At most other ballparks, this base knock would likely have been a double with potentially one run scoring rather than two.

Finding the holes in the opposition's defensive alignment will be a key moving forward in this divisional matchup.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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