2015 Home Run Derby: Joc Vs. Machado And The Rain

The 2015 Home Run Derby doesn’t contain Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, or Mike Trout, three of the four hitters with more than 25 homers this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

5:00 p.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1.
Pujols
vs.
8.
Bryant
2.
Frazier
vs.
7.
Fielder
3.
Donaldson
vs.
6.
Rizzo
4.
Pederson
vs.
5.
Machado

So here’s how this works, because it’s all brand new. Each round is four minutes — down from five, because the weather report looks rough tonight — per batter, per round, in a bracket system. There were to be some other rules about clock stoppages, distance bonuses, etc., but again due to the weather, it’s all been simplified. Instead, all that’s worth noting is that a hitter can earn an extra 30 seconds if he puts two homers beyond 425 feet, which is a fun touch.

Obviously, if you’re a Dodger fan, your rooting interest lies with Joc Pederson against Manny Machado, and you’ll do your best to ignore the generally unfortunate performances put forth by past Dodgers like Matt Kemp, Mike Piazza, and Yasiel Puig. (Dodgers minor league coach Johnny Washington, credited by Pederson with helping to save his swing after Pederson flopped in his first shot at Single-A, will throw the pitches.) Considering that Pederson generally either walks, strikes out, or this the ball outstandingly hard, this might be the perfect venue for him.

The rain, of course, makes this all pretty interesting. Part of the reason MLB introduced these new rules was because past Derbys had become bloated, time-wise, and so baseball did a good job in reacting to that. Tightening it further because of the weather could help that even more, and the rain could add a fun element of tension to this whole thing. Who wouldn’t want to see the finals being won on a last-second bomb as the heavy rains start to roll in? This could actually be pretty interesting.

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.