For MLB hitters, a trip to Coors Field in Denver is always welcome, as baseballs often travel farther in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains.
However, for pitchers, the opposite is true, as trips to Coors Field often leave them trying to keep their ERA from ballooning against the Colorado Rockies' powerful offense.
Every now and then, though, a pitcher gets to take advantage of the thin air at the plate, as Rockies hurler Jon Gray did on Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
As you can see in the video below, Gray smacks a second-inning pitch from Reds starter Scott Feldman an incredible 467 feet into the center-field bleachers:
Making the feat even more impressive is the fact that Gray entered the game with zero hits on the season and had exactly zero career home runs prior to the second-inning at-bat.
Gray's home run ended up being an important play in the game, as the Rockies would hold off the Reds for a narrow 5-3 victory. He told MLB.com after the game that he was glad his bat played a big part in his team's win:
"It felt good, but I was just glad that it ended up being a big part of the game," Gray said of his home run.
Gray also had a solid performance on the mound, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing only three runs (one of which was unearned) while striking out five Cincinnati batters.
Feldman, on the other hand, was disappointed he left a pitch in the strike zone where Gray could do damage with it, as he knows Gray isn't exactly the best hitter in the majors:
"He hit it pretty far," Feldman acknowledged. "You never want to give up hits, period, to pitchers. I feel like you should get the pitcher out every time. To pretty much lose the game on that, it's not a good feeling. At the same time, I threw the ball right down the middle. You can't really do that."
Feldman lasted only five innings, giving up four runs to the Rockies. In addition to Gray's two-run blast, he also allowed a two-run shot to infielder Pat Valaika in the fourth inning.
With the win, the Rockies improved to 50-37 on the season, but still trail the Los Angeles Dodgers (who sport the National League's best record) by 7.5 games in the NL West division.
After the loss, the Reds are now 36-48 and find themselves in last place in the NL Central, trailing the first-place Milwaukee Brewers by 9.5 games.