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Two homer games vs two triple games

Posted by Andy on June 27, 2008

Reader WillyB asked about historical rates of 2-homer games vs 2-triple games, these being performances by individual players in the games, as opposed to total by each team.

Using the batting game finder, I generated the data for the following graph:

First, here is a description of what you are seeing. For each year, I found the total number of times a player had two homers in a game as well as the total number of two triples in a game. Then, I divided by the total number of team games played that particular year. So any given game counts twice--once for each team involved. So this tells you that the incidence of 2-homer games peaked around year 2000 at roughly 7% of games. So on a day when all 30 teams played, on average 2 different guys had 2-homer games. Jeez.

For triples, I went ahead and multiplied the data by 10 just so it would be on a similar scale to HRs, but in your mind you need to divide by 10. Incidence of 2-triple games peaked around 1960 not at 6%, but rather at 0.6% of games. This means that any given team playing a full 152-game season might see, on average, one two-triple game from one of its players per season. By 2000, the rate bottom out around 0.2%, meaning roughly a team would see one of its guys have two triples in a game roughly once every 3 seasons on average.

3 Responses to “Two homer games vs two triple games”

  1. izzycat Says:

    Do the fluctuations in frequency of two-homer games track the fluctuations in frequency of home runs?

    For example, if the average player hits home runs in some proportion x of at-bats, and they get 4 at-bats per game, then they should have two-HR games in something like 6x2 of their games. (They have probability x2 of hitting 2 HR in 2 AB chosen arbitrarily; there are six ways to choose the pair of at-bats.) So the square of the home run rate should look like the rate of 2-HR games.

    This very crude analysis ignores the fact that some players hit more HR than others, though...

  2. mmayes Says:

    Since 1956 the incidence of 2 triple games and 2 homer games is exactly the a player's first game. Willie McCovey (1959) and John Sipin of the Padres (1969) had 2 triples in their debut games. Bert Campaneris (1964) and Mark Quinn of the Royals (1999) homered twice in their first games.

  3. whiz Says:

    Speaking of 2-HR and 2-3B games, only
    two players
    have hit 2 3Bs AND 2 HRs in the same game since 1956 (one HOFer and one ... not).