Breaking down Todd Frazier's 'cheap' home run at Yankee Stadium in ALCS Game 3

If you missed Game 3 of the 2017 American League Championship Series on Monday night, then you missed the New York Yankees routing the Houston Astros by an 8-1 score (GameTracker). The Yankees win cut into the Astros' series lead -- Houston's now up 2-1 in the best-of-seven affair heading into Tuesday's Game 4.

You also missed a Todd Frazier home run that put the Yankees ahead 3-0 early and stirred much grief about Yankee Stadium. Let's break it down, beginning with this clip of the homer:

The sequence began with Charlie Morton missing his spot on a 1-1 fastball. Catcher Evan Gattis set up on the inside of the plate, Morton delivered to the outside corner. That isn't to suggest Morton made an awful pitch -- he "missed good" at the knees and far enough way that it required Frazier to reach to make contact. In fact, take a look at the swing and think about how often this pose results in an easy out -- or, at most, a dumped single to right field:

Yet Frazier has well-above-average raw strength -- there's a reason he has averaged 33 home runs over the past four seasons -- and somehow got enough of it to send it flying over the right-field wall. Plenty of folks will grumble about it being a Yankee Stadium cheapie, but it's worth noting that Frazier's home run actually did travel a longer distance than the homer Carlos Correa hit in Game 2 -- and besides, it wasn't anywhere near being the cheapest hit of the inning:

Obviously the Yankees later turned the game into a boat race, with Aaron Judge offering a more memorable blast. But Frazier's home run should be appreciated as a nice display of raw strength above all else. And as an example of how keeping the ball down doesn't necessarily mean keeping it in the yard.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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