How unlikely was Kearns’ HR on Monday?

Monday’s game against the Yankees was the Tribe’s 83rd of the year and it was Austin Kearns‘ first appearance in the official second half of the season.

His first half will go down as one of the most miserable in Tribe history, and yet the second chapter is off to a brilliant start.

So just how unlikely was his home run off A.J. Burnett?

Since 1980, 366 Indians have had at least 100 plate appearances through the team’s first 81 games. Only three of them, however, posted a batting average under .200 and failed to hit a home run. Kearns (.196 in 115 PA), of course, is one of them. The other two: Chris Bando in 1985 (.065 in 107 PA) and Otis Nixon in 1984 (.154 in 103 PA).

Neither Bando nor Nixon would go on to hit a home run that season, and the two would combine for just 38 in their careers.

Chasing Chris Bando

If Luis Valbuena‘s season in the majors is over (unlikely, since he’ll probably be back in September at the latest) he’ll end this season with the second lowest batting average in team history (min. 175 PA).

The team record, which figures to stand for quite some time, belongs to Chris Bando. In 199 plate appearances in 1985, Bando hit .139.

Bando, the brother of former A’s All-Star Chris, split time with Jerry Willard in 1985. And he’s lucky he was even given the opportunity to raise his average to .139. At the end of April, Bando was batting .040. By the All-Star Break he was batting .071. If it weren’t for a .189 average in August and September, it could have been a lot worse for the local Cleveland product.