St. Louis Cardinals Countdown: Five longest homers of 2020
By Matt Graves
No. 4: O’Neill makes Target Field look tiny
Many days, Tyler O’Neill must just wake up angry. On July 28, that must’ve been true.
The Cardinals were playing their first game of two in Minnesota against the Twins at Target Field, a notoriously large ballpark. This game was the infamous final game before the team’s 17-day shutdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak. While fans and players didn’t know that at the time, O’Neill connected for a beautiful shot during this game.
Down 0-6 in the 5th inning after Carlos Martinez (who we would learn had COVID-19 during this start) had a rough first outing of the year, O’Neill introduced himself to the Cardinals’ old friend Homer Bailey.
O’Neill could be described as a mistake hitter, and this 84 mph slider that ended up right down the middle was a clear mistake. The sound dishes at Target Field captured the gorgeous crack of O’Neill’s bat and the slugger cranked the pitch 438 ft into left-center. The ball came off the bat at 106 mph and O’Neill knew at once that he had a slow jog around the bases ahead of him.
The Cardinals would go on to lose the game 6-3, but this homer was one to remember as it was the last game for some time.