As if things couldn’t get any better for the Rockies after their walk-off win in the first game of Sunday’s double-header against the Reds, 1B/OF Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle in game two. The 35-year-old veteran tripled and was stranded in the first inning, hit a solo home run in the sixth, and singled and was stranded in the seventh.
In the eighth, needing a double for the cycle, Cuddyer ripped a Manny Parra offering down the left field line, scoring two runs on a double. Cuddyer would later score the Rockies’ 10th run of the evening.
Cuddyer is the first player to hit for the cycle this season. The last player to do it was Alex Rios on September 23 last season. The last Rockie to accomplish the feat was Carlos Gonzalez on July 31, 2010. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Cuddyer has hit for the cycle. He did it previously on May 22, 2009 as a member of the Twins.
Cuddyer was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday after healing up from a broken left shoulder socket. With Sunday’s performance, he now has six home runs, 19 RBI, and a .331/.376/.546 slash line.
Mark Buehrle last pitched in 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was still pretty effective and toyed with the idea of pitching last season, but he never signed anywhere and is, for all intents and purposes, retired.
Now at least his number will be retired officially. It will be done by the club for which he had the most success and with which he is, obviously, most associated:
Buehrle pitched for the White Sox for 12 years. He was the model of consistency and durability in Chicago, logging over 200 innings a season in every single season but his rookie year, when he was primarily a reliever. He was a solid defender, a multi-time All-Star, tossed a perfect game in 2009 and helped the Chisox to their first World Series title in 88 years in 2005.
He was also one of baseball’s fastest workers, so I’m going to assume that, in his honor, the number retirement ceremony will last, like, a minute 20, after which everyone can get on with their dang day.
Terry Francona just won the American League pennant, the Manager of the Year Award and his Cleveland Indians will likely be among the favorites to win it all in 2017. Between that and his 17-year track record as one of the best managers in the business, he will have a job, somewhere, for as long as he wants one.
He said yesterday, however, that his body will likely limit how long he manages:
“It gets harder and harder physically. It really does. It takes me longer to recharge every year . . . I’ve had a lot of surgeries, a lot of health problems. It just takes a toll on you. I love [the game of baseball]. I really do, but I can’t see myself doing something else. But there is going to come a day when I feel like I’m shortchanging the team or the organization. That’s not fair.
“Even now, during batting practice, I’ll come in and get off my feet a little bit. I think everybody understands. But when there comes a day when it gets in the way, I’m going to have to pull back, and it’s not because I don’t love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right.”
Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him.
With multiple World Series rings there isn’t much more in baseball that Francona can accomplish, but here’s hoping he sticks around and accomplishes a lot more before he trades in his baseball spikes for golf spikes and calls it a career.