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Pablo Sandoval hits for the cycle against Rockies

Sep 15, 2011, 11:32 PM EDT

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Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit for the cycle on Thursday night at Colorado’s Coors Field, becoming the 26th player in Giants history to accomplish the feat. And only the 10th since the franchise moved out to San Francisco.

Those factoids come courtesy of Andrew Baggarly, beat writer with the San Jose Mercury News.

Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the first inning, a single in the second inning, a double in the fifth inning and a triple in the top of the sixth.

He belly-flopped head-first into the third base bag once he reached it, almost as an ode to those who have recently questioned his chronically expanding waist line. Like, well, us.

Sandoval is up to 20 homers and 25 doubles on the season — impressive numbers when you consider that he missed 40 games earlier this summer because of a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. Onward, Panda.

  1. bigleagues - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    4 Hits is always impressive, but the novelty of hitting for the cycle and the ensuing media hype that comes from it is just annoying to me.In the grand scheme of things it’s completely meaningless.

    And that is only emphasized by the fact that ‘cycle’ in this context is a complete bastardization of the word. To cycle is a “process which returns to its beginning and then repeats itself in the same sequence” .

    Yet hitting for the cycle means a hitter may hit a HR first, then a Single, followed by a Triple and finally a Double. He may even walk, make an out or have another hit along the way.

    Another hitter may Single, Triple, Homer, Sac Fly and finally a Double to complete his “cycle”.

    Hitting for the ‘cycle’ – in the truest sense of the word – would be hitting, in order, a Single, Double, Triple and capping it off with a Home Run. That would be a sequence that starts at Home, then 1B, followed by 2B, 3B and returns to Home.

    Perhaps an even truer representation would be simply to hit a HR.

    So, for all the novelty sympathetic fans out there . . . I propose renaming “hitting for the cycle”. Instead I would call it “scoring the diamond” or “hitting the diamond” or something ridiculous like that.

    • cur68 - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:54 AM

      Feats of linguistic bastardization duly noted ‘leagues, but it’s tradition to call it “hitting for the cycle” even if it makes no sense. I doubt you’ll get much traction for change but I can appreciate a man on a mission to set the record straight. One of these days someone will take up the cause to have the “Mendoza Line” renamed the “Ueker Line”, because in all fairness, was anyone ever worse than Bob? Mendoza certainly wasn’t.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        Tony LaRussa hit .199, a point below Uecker.

        There are many other examples, but my favorite is Ray Oyler (.175 career), shortstop for the 1968 Tigers. He was routinely pinch-hit for in the 5th or 6th inning (when he started). His offensive (in both senses of the word) stats for the season:

        111 G, 247 AB, .135-1-12, .399 OPS.
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oylerra01.shtml

        In preparing for the World Series, Mayo Smith moved OF Mickey Stanley to SS so he could get his entire OF rotation — Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Jim Northrup, and Stanley — into the Series. And keep Oyler’s bat out. Not saying the Tigers won the Series because of that decision, but it probably didn’t hurt.

        Then, for reasons that surpass understanding, the Seattle Pilots selected him in the expansion draft. Though in fairness, that was an era when shortstops like Eddie Brinkman and Mark Belanger could be regulars despite BAs around .200, because of their fielding.

      • bigleagues - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        LOL.

        Never-the-less my larger point is 4 Hits is 4 Hits. The attention that ‘hitting for the cycle” is greater than someone gets for achieving 4 hits in the game. And that’s what really drives me crazy. ESPN and MLB Network will lead off a sportscast or do live look-ins for someone who is one hit from the cycle. But that same hype doesn’t apply to someone gets 4 hits in a game.

        Bottom line – hitting for the cycle should be a novel footnote to a game – not the headline.

      • bigleagues - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        BTW – ask yourself this . . . does a guy who hits 2 Doubles and 2 HR in a game garner even equal attention and hype that someone as anomalous as Benjie Molina does in ‘achieving’ the cycle?

        Nope. But 2 doubles and 2 HR’s is inarguably a better game (12TB to 10TB).

      • cur68 - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:48 PM

        ‘greg I for one will from now on refer to it as the “LaRussa line”. Paradigm change is a mo-fo but I know I can do this. I have grit.

    • kellyb9 - Sep 16, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Disagree on the order, it’s fairly impressive no matter what order it’s in, but I’ve always wondered if just once in the 130 year-ish history of baseball if someone stayed at second instead of moving to 3rd or 1st instead of 2nd just to achieve this feat.

      • anonmonster - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        Before Panda’s triple Kruk and Kuip mentioned just that – if it looked like a stand up double, he shouldn’t even slow down, he should just try to stretch a double to a triple. Sandoval confirmed that he was thinking the same thing when they interviewed him after the game. Luckily, the ball hit the outfield wall and just died, giving him some time to reach third.

      • bigleagues - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        See that’s exactly where I disagree. It not an impressive feat. It’s a freak anomaly. No player starts out a game to hit for the cycle. It’s just something that happens once in a great while.

        And if you don’t believe me, just ask George Kottaras or Bengie Molina.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      If you don’t find a Panda hitting a triple as impressive, you sir are a hard man to please.

  2. joelgold - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    So a feat that has only been done 25 times in the 129 year history of the Giants annoys you because he did it out of order? I say, congratulations Panda for your accomplishment and the tremendous turn around from last year. Well done!

    • bigleagues - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:08 PM

      It’s not an accomplishment. No one sets out to hit for the cycle. It just happens. It’s an anomaly.

  3. hoopmatch - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    If someone hits two homers, two triples, two doubles and two singles in one game, would that be hitting for the bicycle?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      Yes, and if you hit 2 HRs, 2 triples, 2 doubles and 1 single it’s called a bi-curious cycle

  4. goawaydog - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Having watched the game last night and seeing him chugging head down around second, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone in baseball who is having more fun playing the game than the Panda.

    • anonmonster - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      He’s also a hell of a cheerleader from the dugout.

  5. cityofsharks - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    GO PANDA!!! GO GIANTS!!!!

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