By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com
Friday night, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the 1st, doubled in the 2nd, and homered in the 5th. He ended up the game going 3-for-4, and drawing a walk. It was another really good night for ALs first-half MVP.
Had that simply been the description I would have been quite content, but noooooo! I had to hear Gonzo was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, and there is no phrase that drives me crazier than that one. If my media colleagues had said He ended up just one hit shy of a perfect night, I would have been fine, but the cycle issue drives me nuts.
Let me explain. When something is just shy of an amount it's just short of that amount by a little, teeny-weeny bit. A triple just doesnt fit that description.
A cycle is a hard thing to accomplish, primarily because of the triple. Since 2006, there have been 25 cycles hit in the majors. None, zero, zippo by the Red Sox. In fact, there have been none hit by anyone so far this season. As a frame of reference, there have been 16 no-hitters thrown since 2006 and two already this season.
There have been 17 cycles hit by the Sox since 1919, none since 1996:
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com
There have been 239 Sox batters who missed the cycle because they didnt homer
There have been 67 Sox batters who singled, tripled and homered in a game
There have been 29 Sox batters who doubled, tripled, and homered in a game
But how many Red Sox batters have had games in which they were a triple shy of the cycle? Including Big Papi, twice in May, Carl Crawford once in May, Kevin Youkilis just over a week ago, and Gonzo Friday night, the count is 632.
A triple is hard to hit. There have been about 300 more batters who missed the cycle by a triple than all the others who missed by one combined because triples are hard to hit. Thats why A-Gon, who has three this season, tying his career high, is teasing everyone about his speed as Maureen Mullen shared with us, I was telling speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, who has two, I got more triples than you do. Whats going on? Gonzalez said. He just said, Hey, you're faster than me.
This is Nation STATion so here are some numbers to show you how hard it is to hit a triple.
So far this season:
There have been 18,460 hits, 673 by the Sox
Of those hits, there have been:
12,528 singles, 427 by Boston
3676 doubles, 151 by Boston
1879 homers, 81 by Boston
377 triples, 14 by Boston
Plain and simple, there are not a lot of triples hit. So my baseball friends and fellow members of the media, puh-lease do not use the phrase, he fell just a triple shy of the cycle.
Its like saying, The Vancouver Canucks fell just five goals shy of winning the Stanley Cup.