Results tagged ‘ Ian Kinsler ’
By Trevor Hayes
The opening round of the playoffs was notable in many ways, from to woes Minnesota has with the Bronx Bombers to the tight, to-the-wire competitions between the Giants and Braves. As October rolls on, today’s players write their stories.
The Roys: Bolstered by the second-ever postseason no-hitter and a solid sweep, the Phillies’ rotation is set for another run. And coincidentally, two of the team’s three NLDS starting pitchers share more than a uniform. If Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt can help bring another World Series trophy to Philadelphia, they will be the fifth set of same-named starters to do so. The others: The 1998 Yankees with David Cone and David Wells; the 1988 Dodgers with Tim Belcher and Tim Leary; the 1983 Orioles with Mike Boddicker and Mike Flanagan; and the first pair, who not only led the 1948 Indians but also joined the Hall of Fame: Bob Feller and Bob Lemon.
Famous in Philly: Cole Hamels was impressive two years ago, and along with the Roys, he’s harnessing that again. He tossed a shutout in the deciding game of the NLDS. In 2008, he marched the Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980, picking up iconic status in the city, four wins and a pair of postseason MVP Awards along the way. His shutout this year was his sixth career playoff win, matching another legend, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who served as the team’s ace during its glory years in the 1980s.
Texas Boppers meet Bronx Bombers: Over the last week, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz provided plenty of pop to propel the Rangers to an ALCS matchup with the Yankees. The Texas duo each hit three home runs, making them the second pair of teammates to connect for at least three homers apiece while playing five or fewer postseason games, The other pair set their standard in 1928. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, with each famous Yankee hitting three homers during a four-game sweep of the Cardinals.
Master Lee: The Ranger’s success against the Rays can also be attributed to the man who won two games. Cliff Lee’s postseason dominance has made him seem incapable of walking batters, who seem incapable of getting to him. His 21 strikeouts without a walk set a new single-series record, besting the previous mark of 14 set by the Braves’ Kevin Millwood when he didn’t walk a Giant in the 2002 NLDS. Meanwhile, Lee tossed a complete game in Game Five, his fifth game with seven or more innings of without a walk. That ties Hall of Fame Christy Mathewson for the second-most and is just two behind Greg Maddux’s record of seven.
With just two years of postseason play under his belt, Lee is now 6-0 in seven starts. Only five pitchers in major league history have six wins in their first seven postseason starts, including Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Lefty Gomez. Pitching in Games One and Five, Lee won his fifth and sixth straight decisions as a starter to begin his postseason career, equaling Gomez for third-most all-time. The record is eight, and Lee is slated for at least one more start without going on short rest. He’s also rattled off five straight W’s in which he pitched seven or more innings. Only Dave Stewart, Gibson and fellow Hall of Famers Red Ruffing have longer streaks.
Last of the 30: In the first-ever series in which the road team won every game, the Rangers picked up their first-ever postseason series win. Dating back to the 1961 Washington Senators, the franchise has finally claimed victory in baseball’s second season, the last active franchise to do so. The franchise waited 41 years to taste postseason glory, a drought only eclipsed by four teams, three of which began play before the World Series started in 1903. From their birth onward, only the Phillies (104 years), Dodgers (79 years), Orioles (63 years) and Cardinals (50 years) took longer to win their first playoff series. Like Texas, each of those teams had made the postseason before. And each year they finally won a postseason series, they went on to win the World Series. In fact, only the Astros, Brewers, Mariners, Nationals, Padres, Rays and Rockies did not win the World Series in the same season the franchise garnered its first playoff series win.
Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
By Samantha Carr
Hitting for the cycle is one of the more rare feats in baseball. It has happened only 286 times in the history of the game.
On Monday night, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made it 287 when he became the sixth player in 2009 to accomplish the feat.
Tulowitzki had a career-high seven RBIs during his five-hit performance against the Chicago Cubs, putting the Rockies in first place in the National League Wild Card race and cutting the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lead to 5 1/2 games in the NL West.
“It’s definitely more satisfying that I did it in a game that means a lot,” Tulowitzki said.
He joins Orlando Hudson, Ian Kinsler, Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer and Melky Cabrera on the list of players who have hit for the cycle in 2009. They have all donated items from their historic feat to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, with the latest item being Tulowitzki’s batting gloves.
Only five other times in history have there been six cycles in one season. Only twice (1890 and 1933) have more than six cycles been reached.
In 1933, a record eight players hit for the cycle, and five of them were later inducted into the Hall of Fame: Chuck Klein, Arky Vaughan, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx and Earl Averill. Cochrane, who had also hit for the cycle in 1932, Pinky Higgins and Foxx were all teammates on the Philadelphia Athletics and hit for the cycle within a two-week span during the first half of August.
May 5: Pepper Martin, St. Louis (NL)
May 26: Chuck Klein, Philadelphia (NL)
June 24: Arky Vaughan, Pittsburgh
Aug. 2: Mickey Cochrane, Philadelphia (AL)
Aug. 6: Pinky Higgins, Philadelphia (AL)
Aug. 14: Jimmie Foxx, Philadelphia (AL)
Aug. 17: Earl Averill, Cleveland
Sept. 30: Babe Herman, Chicago (NL)
Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
By Jim Gates
Following last week’s blog on the rare 6-for-6 cycle by Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers, I was asked if anyone had ever hit for the home-run cycle. The answer is yes, but not in the Major Leagues.
First, what is a home-run cycle? It is when one batter hits a solo, two-run and three-run homer in a game in addition to a grand slam. Hitting four home runs in one game is difficult enough, but the home-run cycle obviously requires the substantial cooperation of your teammates.
Although there are stories of home-run cycles being accomplished at the youth, high school and collegiate levels, only one batter is known to have achieved this feat as a professional ballplayer. On July 27, 1998, Tyrone Horne of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League stroked a two-run shot in the first inning, a grand slam in the second, a solo homer in the fifth and finished off the night with a three-run blast in the sixth inning. Not a bad night at all.
“I hadn’t realized I’d homered for the cycle at first. I’d never even heard of homering for the cycle,” Horne recalled almost a decade after the event.
Known for having some power, Horne hit 37 home runs for the Travelers in 1998 and posted a batting average of .312. He spent 13 years playing Minor League and independent league baseball before a ruptured disc in his neck forced him to retire from active play.
Although Horne never made it to The Show, he donated his bat from the home-run cycle to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where it now resides along with other artifacts of baseball history.
This just proves that on any given night, almost any player can catch lighting in a bottle. He can perform a little magic and achieve something never before seen on the baseball diamond. You don’t have to be a superstar to make the game special or to make it into the record books. Just ask Tyrone.
Jim Gates is librarian of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.
By Jim Gates
On April 15, 2009, Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers accomplished a baseball feat that has not been seen by fans for many decades as he collected six hits in a 9-inning game and hit for the cycle at the same time. There was no master list showing a cross-referencing of these two achievements, so we created one from scratch. Using a base list provided by Project Retrosheet, we found 286 players who have hit for the cycle since 1882, and only this select group of nine players was able to collect at least 6 hits during the same game:
As shown, Kinsler is the first player since 1889 to go 6-for-6 during a regular 9-inning game and to also hit for the cycle. In fact, only Kinsler and Larry Twitchell have accomplished this exact feat. The others needed extra innings, or took an additional at-bat, to collect their six hits. What the Rangers fans saw on April 15 was truly a rare event.
Jim Gates is librarian of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.