Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Wednesday was a night of repeats for Max Muncy, as he not only hit a home run but also went into the Dodger Stadium protective netting for a second consecutive game. Muncy had previously spilled into the netting earlier this season as well.
“The net is a little weird. The way it’s kind of curved, it still allows for some plays to be made,” Muncy said after the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a two-game series sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
“But at the same time, you can run out of room real quick over there. It’s not like in the past where you could possibly reach over and grab something out of the stands. Just understanding if anything you can almost go a little bit harder into the wall because that net is going to stop you from causing real harm.
“As long as you get your legs out of the way, you can kind of just fall into it.”
In September 2019, the Dodgers completed a two-phase process of extending the netting so that it runs from both dugouts to the elbow bend in front of the baseline seats on field level. The first phase increased the height of the netting, as it now is 33 feet and one of the tallest across Major League Baseball.
The Dodgers first extended the screen behind home plate at Dodger Stadium in accordance with recommendations from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred before the 2016 season. They then stretched it to the ends of each dugout, both at Dodger Stadium and Camelback Ranch, in February 2018.
Muncy has been something of a regular for oddities in foul territory this season as he previously collided with a plexiglass in the Colorado Rockies’ dugout at Coors Field. “The plexiglass, that one came out of nowhere. I think I’m still feeling that one a little bit. That hurt pretty good,” Muncy said at the time.
“It’s just things that you’ve got to get used to on the field. All these obstacles are out there for a reason, and the main one is safety. The nets going all along the field, that was something that probably should’ve happened a long time ago.
“Those balls are getting hit really hard and there’s not much time to react. That’s just for fan safety. It might cause a problem here or there for us on defense, but the more important part is the safety. That’s just something you’ve got to get used to.”
Adjustments paying off for Muncy
After a slow start to the season, Muncy has steadily turned a corner at the plate over the past week. He recently explained swing changes were taking effect, and reiterated that following Wednesday’s win.
“It’s taken longer than I would have liked and there’s still a long way to go with it, but just allowing me to be a little bit more comfortable at the plate,” Muncy said. “I feel like the main thing is being within myself and finally seeing some changes take hold.”
“It’s a couple of minor things. Game is evolving and you’ve got to evolve with it. It’s just one of those things that I need to do to keep up with a lot of the pitchers that are going out there today.”
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