The final month of the regular season began yesterday with a few enticing stories from all around the league:
Stephen Drew and Adrian Beltre both hit for the cycle
For the first time in over 80 years, 2 players hit for the cycle on the same day. Although the feat is usually extremely rare, having happened only 284 times in Major League Baseball history, both Drew and Beltre manage to accomplish the feat yesterday. They both had 5 hits, with Drew's extra being a double and Beltre's extra hit being a single. Both were accomplished in a win Labor Day night.
Drew began his quest for the cycle as he led off the bottom of the first with a single. He than tripled in the 3rd to clear what most call the hardest part of the cycle. He showed off his power by hitting his 16th homer of the season in the bottom of the 5th, and finished his quest with a ball that was hit to deep right center and bounced over the fence for a ground rule double. He tacked on his 2nd double of the night in the bottom of the 8th. In total Drew had an extremely productive night going 5-5 with the 2 doubles, homer, single and triple. He also scored 3 runs. The D-Backs ended up winning the game 8-6 against the Cardinals.
Beltre started his cycle off in grand fashion, by hitting his 24th homer of the season to lead off the 2nd inning for the Mariners. Beltre than completed what's considered the easiest part of the cycle with a single in the 4th. Beltre singled again in the 6th. In the next inning, he doubled to left to complete 3/4 of the cycle, and in the 8th, Beltre tripled to finish his cycle. All in all, Beltre went 5-6 with his 2 singles, homer, double and triple. He also drove in 3 and scored 5 runs in a Mariners' win over the Rangers, 12-6.
Cliff Lee becomes the 1st pitcher to win 20 games this season
Cliff Lee continued his spectacular season with his 20th win of the season for his Indians'. It's been an otherwise dismal season for the Tribe, but Lee has been a brightspot for them. His win yesterday improved his season W-L record to an astounding 20-2. A winning percentage of 91%! He isn't an overpowering pitcher, but a control pitcher, evident from his 149-27 K-BB stats.
Lee is the front runner for the AL Cy Young, and only Roy Halladay comes close to him. He has a 2.32 ERA which leads the majors, and a 1.05 WHIP which is 3rd in the AL. He has 194 IP this year, and will easily top his career single season high of 202 IP barring injury.
Although he seems to be a huge surprise, many forget his good season in 2005. He went 18-5 with a high ERA of 3.79 but a WHIP of 1.22. Although it may be considered a fluke, winning 18 games in the majors is no easy feat. Lee has been absolutely awesome this season, and he definitely deserves the AL Cy Young award.
- Carlos Delgado hit his 31st homer of the season, and it was a go ahead shot that helped the Mets beat the Brewers, 4-2.
- Albert Pujols hit his 30th homer of the season, to give him 30 homers in 8 straight seasons.
- The Mets increased their lead over the Phillies to 2 games in the NL East
- The D-Backs increased their lead over the Dodgers to 2.5 games in the NL West
- Ben Sheets left his start against the Mets after 5 great innings with tightness in his left groin
- Justin Upton left his game against the Dodgers after getting hit in the head by Albert Pujols' while trying to get back to 1st on a pick-off try
- Greg Maddux won his 354th game yesterday, tying Roger Clemens for 8th on the all time list
Stick with the MLB Spot as more and more enticing stories hit the MLB!