Thursday, June 16, 2016

Freddie Goes for the Cycle!

The Braves won last night 9-8 in 13 innings, and that wasn't the biggest story of the evening. No, the biggest deal was that Freddie Freeman ended up hitting for the cycle (a single, double, triple, and homer all in one game). That's the first cycle for the Braves since Mark Kotsay in 2008. Now, some of you may ask, how rare is the cycle? I'll tell you after a quick recap of the game.

Bud Norris was the starter for the Braves and had a decent day giving up 3 runs in 5 innings. It was about as average a start for the Braves as we get this year, and that's fine if the Braves can hit the ball. They did. The Braves were up 5-3 with Bud exited the game, but not for long. Casey Kelly came in for relief and immediately blew the lead by allowing 3 runs to score in the top of the 6th. Freddie Freeman's homer actually came in the bottom half of the 6th to tie the game 6-6. And then nobody scored for another 7 innings until the 13th, then the Reds took an 8-6 lead in the top half. It looked over, but the Braves stormed back with 3 runs in the bottom half to win the game. Chase d'Arnaud had the walk-off single to win it.

Now with that out of the way, let's talk about baseball cycles. The Braves have had only 7 cycles including this one in their franchise history, which dates back to 1876. That's an average of about one every 20 years. So yeah, you saw something extremely rare happen this season for the Braves. Freddie is also the first player to hit for the cycle in 2016. There were 4 players that did it in 2015, only 1 player in 2014, and 3 players in 2013. The last player to hit for the cycle for the Braves was Mark Kotsay in 2008.

What you may not know is that before Mark Kotsay did it, it was Albert Hall for the Braves back in 1987. Freddie Freeman, Kotsay, and Hall are the only players to hit for the cycle while the Braves have been in Atlanta. Four players did it for the Braves franchise back in the Boston days, when the team was known as the Boston Beaneaters, and the Boston Doves. Herman Long, Duff Cooley, Johnny Bates, and Bill Collins were the old-timers that hit for the cycle way back when, from the years 1896-1910. And from 1910-1987? Nada. That's a long drought.

Anyway, Braves won, Freddie made history, and the game lasted almost 5.5 hours well into the wee hours of the morning. I went to bed like many of you and woke up to history. Not a bad feeling for a team that's really crapped out on the first two games of the series.


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