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« If you want to win your division... | Main | Bill Chuck's Nine to Know: Report from Fenway »
Thursday
Sep132012

Salty is “Just shy”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homers against the Yanks last night. Photo by Bill Chuck

 

This is my Jarrod Saltalamacchia and my complaint about "just shy cycles" column for the day.

Salty is a batter with very mixed results hitting just .232 even after his 3-3 night last, but he has slammed 24 homers.

Here is what Saltalamacchia looks like hitting this season:

You can see where Salty's strength primarily resides as batter by looking at the largest red area.

It should then come as no surprise that that area is where the specious Yankee pitching threw last night:

This season, there have been four cycles, two by Aaron Hill:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltPAAB1BRH2B3BHR
1 Adrian Beltre 2012-08-24 TEX MIN W 8-0 4 4 1 1 4 1 1 1
2 Aaron Hill 2012-06-29 ARI MIL W 9-3 5 5 1 2 4 1 1 1
3 Aaron Hill 2012-06-18 ARI SEA W 7-1 4 4 1 3 4 1 1 1
4 Scott Hairston 2012-04-27 NYM COL L 9-18 5 5 1 3 4 1 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This has been a banner year for cycles as we can see from the yearly totals since 2000:

RkYear#    
1 2009 8 Ind. Games
       
2 2004 6 Ind. Games
       
3 2008 5 Ind. Games
4 2006 5 Ind. Games
5 2001 5 Ind. Games
6 2000 5 Ind. Games
       
7 2012 4 Ind. Games
8 2010 4 Ind. Games
9 2003 4 Ind. Games
       
10 2007 3 Ind. Games
11 2005 3 Ind. Games
       
12 2011 2 Ind. Games
13 2002 2 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

The 2009 season was a record for the most in a season since 1918, tying it with the eight hit in 1933.

One of my vexations is when reporters refer to a batter who hits a single, double and homer as being "just shy" of the cycle. This has happened 223 times this season, including last night by Alfonso Soriano.

In fact, take a look at the 15 times the "just shy of a triple" cycle has been done this month:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltAB1BRH2B3BHR
1 Alfonso Soriano 2012-09-12 CHC HOU W 5-1 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
2 J.J. Hardy 2012-09-11 BAL TBR W 9-2 5 1 3 4 1 0 2
3 Kyle Seager 2012-09-11 SEA TOR W 4-3 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
4 Eric Hosmer 2012-09-11 KCR MIN W 9-1 5 1 3 3 1 0 1
5 Cameron Maybin 2012-09-10 SDP STL W 11-3 4 1 3 3 1 0 1
6 Carlos Santana 2012-09-09 CLE MIN L 7-8 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
7 Curtis Granderson 2012-09-09 NYY BAL W 13-3 3 1 1 3 1 0 1
8 Brian McCann 2012-09-08 ATL NYM W 11-3 5 2 3 4 1 0 1
9 Aramis Ramirez 2012-09-08 MIL STL W 6-3 3 1 2 3 1 0 1
10 Aaron Hill 2012-09-04 ARI SFG W 8-6 5 3 3 5 1 0 1
11 Chris Iannetta 2012-09-03 LAA OAK W 8-3 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
12 Stephen Drew 2012-09-02 OAK BOS W 6-2 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
13 Coco Crisp 2012-09-01 OAK BOS W 7-1 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
14 Adrian Beltre 2012-09-01 TEX CLE L 3-4 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
15 David Freese 2012-09-01 STL WSN W 10-9 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This is not an infrequent event in any year.

Take a look at the number of "just shy of a triple" cycles each year since 2000:

RkYear#    
1 2001 303 Ind. Games
       
2 2000 301 Ind. Games
       
3 2003 295 Ind. Games
       
4 2007 292 Ind. Games
       
5 2006 284 Ind. Games
       
6 2009 275 Ind. Games
       
7 2005 274 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 266 Ind. Games
9 2004 266 Ind. Games
       
10 2002 260 Ind. Games
       
11 2011 228 Ind. Games
       
12 2010 225 Ind. Games
       
13 2012 223 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

"Just shy of a double" cycles are a much rarer event:

RkYear#    
1 2009 41 Ind. Games
       
2 2007 36 Ind. Games
       
3 2008 33 Ind. Games
       
4 2010 31 Ind. Games
5 2001 31 Ind. Games
       
6 2000 29 Ind. Games
       
7 2004 28 Ind. Games
       
8 2006 27 Ind. Games
       
9 2002 25 Ind. Games
       
10 2005 24 Ind. Games
       
11 2003 22 Ind. Games
       
12 2011 21 Ind. Games
       
13 2012 18 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

"Just shy of a homer" cycles are more frequent than doubles, but nowhere near as frequent as "shy of triple" cycles:

RkYear#     
1 2004 67 Ind. Games
       
2 2006 66 Ind. Games
       
3 2002 65 Ind. Games
       
4 2000 63 Ind. Games
       
5 2009 61 Ind. Games
       
6 2005 60 Ind. Games
7 2003 60 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 55 Ind. Games
       
9 2007 52 Ind. Games
       
10 2010 51 Ind. Games
       
11 2012 50 Ind. Games
12 2001 50 Ind. Games
       
13 2011 47 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This brings us to the Jarrod Saltalamacchia game last night against the Yankees in which he hit a double, triple, and homer (and walked).

This season batters have hit "just shy of a single" cycle just 13 times:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltAB1BRH2B3BHRRBI
1 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2012-09-12 BOS NYY L 4-5 3 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
2 Adrian Beltre 2012-08-24 TEX MIN W 8-0 4 1 1 4 1 1 1 3
3 Ryan Braun 2012-08-22 MIL CHC W 3-2 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 2
4 Andres Torres 2012-08-09 NYM MIA W 6-1 3 0 2 3 1 1 1 3
5 Billy Butler 2012-08-09 KCR BAL W 8-2 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 3
6 Chris Johnson 2012-07-27 HOU PIT L 5-6 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
7 Aaron Hill 2012-06-29 ARI MIL W 9-3 5 1 2 4 1 1 1 3
8 Paul Goldschmidt 2012-06-23 ARI CHC W 10-5 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 2
9 Aaron Hill 2012-06-18 ARI SEA W 7-1 4 1 3 4 1 1 1 1
10 Mark Trumbo 2012-05-28 LAA NYY W 9-8 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 2
11 Carlos Beltran 2012-05-11 STL ATL L 7-9 5 0 2 4 1 1 2 4
12 Scott Hairston 2012-04-27 NYM COL L 9-18 5 1 3 4 1 1 1 4
13 Omar Infante 2012-04-07 MIA CIN W 8-3 5 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

That makes this event even rarer than a batter hitting a "just shy of a triple" cycle.

And here's how frequently the "just shy of a single" cycle has been hit each season since 2000:

RkYear#   
1 2000 18 Ind. Games
       
2 2009 15 Ind. Games
3 2006 15 Ind. Games
       
4 2007 14 Ind. Games
5 2001 14 Ind. Games
       
6 2012 13 Ind. Games
7 2011 13 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 11 Ind. Games
9 2004 11 Ind. Games
       
10 2003 10 Ind. Games
       
11 2005 9 Ind. Games
       
12 2010 8 Ind. Games
       
13 2002 6 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

Here are the top five seasons since 1918 of batters who were just shy of a cycle by not hitting a single, the only time we should use "just shy" when talking about a cycle:

RkYear#   
1 2000 18 Ind. Games
       
2 2009 15 Ind. Games
3 2006 15 Ind. Games
4 1988 15 Ind. Games
5 1929 15 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

Thank you, Jarrod.

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