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No Chance for the Cycle

Posted by Raphy on May 9, 2010

Jody Gerut's final hit for the cycle last night occurred in his 6th trip to the plate. While this is  not the latest anyone has done it ( At least 3 players completed the cycle in their 7th plate appearance.), it did make me wonder about players on the brink of a cycle, who never had the chance. How many players were a single away from history, only to be left waiting at the door?

In the years currently covered by PI (1920-1939,1952-2010) 5 players have come to the plate  exactly 3 times in a game and turned in a double, triple and home run.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Jeff Burroughs 1978-09-10 ATL LAD L 5-11 3 3 2 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.157 1.896 .490 4 LF
2 Bob Allison 1968-07-21 (2) MIN OAK W 10-0 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.157 4.024 .337 5 LF
3 Bill Freehan 1963-05-07 DET NYY W 6-2 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.265 3.072 .670 6 C
4 Al Todd 1934-05-22 PHI PIT L 4-13 3 3 1 3 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 5 C
5 Pete Alexander 1925-06-20 CHC PHI L 2-3 3 3 1 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 9 P
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/9/2010.

Freehan, Todd and Alexander all ran out of time; their turn in the lineup only came up 3 times. Allison and Burroughs were both removed by their managers. Given that his team was ahead 10-0 in the second game of a double header, I presume that Allison was given a breather. Burroughs was lifted for a pinch runner in the 6th.

In those same years, 2 players have come to the plate 3 for 3 with a double, triple and home run only to be intentionally walked in their fourth and final plate appearance.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB TOB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Raul Ibanez 2002-06-25 KCR DET W 8-6 4 3 2 3 1 1 1 4 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.526 4.826 1.383 6 LF
2 Greg Walker 1988-07-09 (1) CHW BOS W 8-7 4 3 1 3 1 1 1 2 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.348 2.888 1.010 5 1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/9/2010.

Both were in close games, so presumably there was nothing unsportsmanlike taking place.

Two other players were a single away, but were hit by a pitch in their fourth and final PA.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB TOB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Vinny Castilla 2005-04-14 WSN ARI W 5-3 4 3 2 3 1 1 1 4 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 4.930 .827 6 3B
2 Brian Giles 2000-08-15 PIT HOU L 4-5 4 3 1 3 1 1 1 2 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.284 2.563 1.017 3 LF
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/9/2010.

Finally, while no player had his only shot for a single to complete the cycle blown on a sacrifice bunt, (On July 11, 1970, Bill Freehan was 3 for 3 and a double away from the cycle when he lay down a sac. bunt)  one player did miss out on the opportunity because of a SH earlier in the game.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Paul Molitor 1983-06-02 MIL OAK W 6-1 4 3 2 3 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.058 1.696 .272 7 3B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/9/2010.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 9:48 am and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

13 Responses to “No Chance for the Cycle”

  1. Pete Alexander, none other than pitching great better known as Grover Cleveland Alexander. Amazing he came that close to the cycle as a pitcher, I dont believe a pitcher has ever gone for the cycle and apparently, he came the closest

  2. Bill Sherdel was also a pitcher who had a double, triple and home run in the same game. (He also made out once). http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BRO/BRO192608040.shtml

  3. On July 24, 2000, Gary Sheffield had a triple, double, and home run in his first three at bats, then was hit in the 7th and walked in the 9th.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/COL/COL200007240.shtml

  4. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Gregg Jeffries had a home run, triple, and single by the 6th inning on August 25, 1995, when he got word that his wife was on the way to a hospital to have a baby. He was due to hit that inning, so he took his turn before leaving and got the double that gave him the cycle. Then he left the game.

    I wonder how many players who were a single short of a cycle got an obvious double or triple and legged it as far as that hit would take them and thus missed the cycle by a single. (The same would go for someone needing a double and legging out a second triple.)

  5. Johnny Damon singled, doubled, and tripled *in the first inning* on June 27, 2003.

    No HR in his other 4 PAs: K, F8, single, single

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200306270.shtml

  6. Double Diamond, the most recent I could find is Dustin Pedroia in 2008. A double in the eighth when he onl needed the single.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA200807020.shtml

  7. At http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Has_a_pitcher_ever_hit_for_the_cycle it says, "Jimmy Ryan, primarily the center fielder for the Cubs, hit for the cycle on July 28, 1888. He also pitched in that game, a 21 to 17 win over the Detroit Wolverines. He is the only player to hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, and home run) AND pitch (at all) in a major league game."

  8. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    In that 2003 game where Damon got three hits in the first inning, both of Florida's first two pitchers failed to retire a single batter. I wonder how often that has happened.

  9. Chipmaker Says:

    Rondell White got the cycle on 11-June-1995, picking up the triple (his sixth hit overall) in his seventh PA.

  10. I don't know why I overlooked that one,thanks Chipmaker.

  11. Paul Boisvert Says:

    Starlin Castro for the Cubs just got his first 3 hits of his career as a hr, triple, and double, in that order, before getting his first single. Are any of these 3 feats a record: the 3 different kinds of extra base hits before getting the first single, the 4 different types of hits as the first 4 of his career, and the descending order of the hits: 4-bagger, then 3, then 2, then single.

    Cubs fans are gaga, but of course the pattern above describes a player who is steadily getting WORSE... :)
    Also, he made 4 errors in first 4 games at shortstop...
    --Paul Boisvert

  12. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I'm not well versed with the Play Index and I'm not a subscriber, but I have found one player so far whose first four career hits were a single, double, triple and home run (with the single first and the triple last): José Moreno, Mets, 6/22/80.

  13. Paul Boisvert Says:

    thanks, Tuna...Castro then got a walk for his next "on-base" event. I'm thinking this is very likely the only instance of hr, 3b, 2b, single, walk in that order for first 5 on-base events. Next one was also a walk, continuing the "non-increasing" pattern of value...but then got a couple singles today, so back to a random pattern. Small sample, but at 20, apparently likely to be a good hitter. But made 5th error in 5 games, THAT pattern will have to change at some point if he's gonna stay up in the majors!