Such was the case on Monday night at Target Field with the White Sox holding an 11-run lead in their eventual 16-4 victory, when Mercedes swung at a 3-0, 47.1 mph Eephus offered by Astudillo with two outs, ripping his sixth home run of the season. It was the slowest pitch hit for a homer since Statcast started tracking.
“It was another homer, no?” said Minnesota designated hitter Nelson Cruz after his team lost for a fourth straight time to the American League Central-leading White Sox. “Just a homer, I guess. You know.”
Mercedes knocked out three hits and drove in three, as seven White Sox starters had multihit efforts and five drove in at least two. On the season, Mercedes is now hitting .364 with a .984 OPS, capped off by the first run allowed by Astudillo, who has made one other appearance on the mound this year.
Twins analyst Roy Smalley was not a fan of Mercedes swinging on the 3-0 pitch.
"I don't like it now, at 15-4," Smalley said during the Twins broadcast as Mercedes rounded the bases. "You're going to get the same pitch after this. I don't like it."