Lou Gehrig finished "a triple short of the cycle" 42 times

6 Comments

This morning I suggested that hitters finishing “a triple short of the cycle” isn’t nearly as noteworthy as baseball writers like me seem to think, as it’s happened 172 times already this season.
I figured that alone was stretching the limits of reader interest, but apparently not. A few of you actually asked about the all-time leaders in “a triple short of the cycle” games. As always I turned to the amazing “Play Index” on Baseball-Reference.com for the answer:

Lou Gehrig          42
Babe Ruth           38
Alex Rodriguez      38
Ted Williams        35
Barry Bonds         35
Stan Musial         32
Billy Williams      32
Juan Gonzalez       32
Jimmie Foxx         31
Willie Mays         30
Rogers Hornsby      30
Al Simmons          30

Not a whole lot of surprises on that list, although Billy Williams and Juan Gonzalez are in the midst of a little better company than usual. Lou Gehrig finished “a triple short of the cycle” 42 times, which is an average of once every 51.5 games for the Hall of Famer. Alex Rodriguez is the active leader with 38, followed by Magglio Ordonez with 26 and Albert Pujols with 25.
And now, let’s never speak of this again.
UPDATE: OK, maybe not never again. For a whole lot more on this subject, check out the research done by Wrigleyville23.com. Good stuff.

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4.

After Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless top of the first inning, the Nationals’ offense wasted no time getting to work. Single, double, sacrifice fly, RBI double, intentional walk, reach on error, RBI single, two-run single, sacrifice bunt, two-run single. That’s how the Nats hung a seven-spot in the opening frame against Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

To the Cardinals’ credit, they cleaned things up from there. The Nationals would not score for the rest of the game while the Cardinals clawed back for a run in the fourth before plating three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina went yard off of Corbin in the fourth. In the fifth, a Tommy Edman ground out and a José Martínez two-run double accounted for the Cardinals’ runs in the fifth.

Corbin ultimately gave up the four runs on four hits and three walks with, impressively, 12 strikeouts across five innings of work. Tanner Rainey worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Sean Doolittle did the same in the seventh.

Doolittle remained in the game in the eighth, getting the first two outs before relenting a single to Marcell Ozuna. Right-hander Daniel Hudson entered for the four-out save opportunity. Hudson hit Molina with a fastball, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Paul DeJong. DeJong worked a full count, then walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter emerged from the dugout to take his cuts against Hudson. After five tense pitches to Carpenter, Hudson got him to ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Nats went down quick in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson emerged from the dugout to send the Nationals into the World Series. He did just that, getting Kolten Wong to fly out to shallow left field for the first out. Matt Wieters popped up to the catcher in fair territory for out number two. At long last, Edman flied out to center field. Nationals win 7-4.

The only other time the franchise reached the Championship Series was in 1981 when the Expos lost three games to two to the Dodgers. The Expos/Nationals then went from 1982-2011 without a playoff appearance. The Nationals lost four Division Series appearances in a row in 2012, ’14, and ’16-17, three of which went the maximum five games. Now they’re in the World Series, improbably. They will await the winner of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead 2-1.