There’s two things that will dominate any discussion of this game, but that’s not a surprise at all. That’s Matt Harrison’s completely dominant start, coming close to a no hitter. And of course, Adrian Beltre hitting for the cycle. Both are worthy of much discussion on their own, but we got two of them in the same game. But the most important thing is that it happened on a Friday night, so I got to see the game! :) First off, the cycle..
This one was by Adrian Beltre, and it was his second career cycle, actually. He is just tearing it up lately, though. He is 13-22 with five home runs in five games on this current homestand. That’s a .590 batting average! In the first, Beltre got a triple off the left center field wall, when it caromed away from their center fielder. Next up was a double down the left field line in the bottom of the second that scored Ian Kinsler. His third hit was a home run in the bottom of the fifth that cleared the left field wall, his 24th of the season. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, Beltre went the other way on the first pitch for a single, completing the cycle. That’s always a cool thing to see.
It was the sixth cycle in Rangers history, which if you look backwards in the history of that, it brings up an interesting Rangers cycle fact. In the first 33 seasons of the franchise’s time in Texas, there was one cycle. That was the first one, on Aug 8, 1985 by Oddibe McDowell. It didn’t happen again until Aug 17, 2004 when Mark Teixeira got one. The rate increased quickly at this point. In season 34-40 in Texas, we had five of them! The Teixeira one, then Garry Matthews Jr on Sep 13, 2006, Apr 15, 2009 (Ian Kinsler), Jul 16, 2010 (Bengie Molina), and finally this game, Aug 24, 2012 by Adrian Beltre. Of note, there was one cycle by the franchise when it was still in Washington DC as the Senators. That was May 26, 1964 by Jim King. Gary Matthews’ cycle was the only one in franchise history that was a natural cycle (1B, 2B, 3B, HR in that order).
Then there’s Matt Harrison. Matt Harrison went out there and just crushed the Twins. They had nothing going on at all. Matt flirted with a no hitter until the 7th inning. Harrison got the first two outs in that inning, and looked to be cruising, but Trevor Plouffe got a clean single to left center, breaking up the no hitter. Jamey Carroll, the next batter, also singled, but that was it for the Twins offense for the entire game. Robbie Ross did give up a hit in the 9th, but really, just three singles by the Twins was a total shutdown. They had nothing, and Matt Harrison just ran over them. Now granted, the Twins aren’t a terribly good team at the moment. But still, holding a major league team to just three hits. No matter that they’re not the best team, it’s a heck of an accomplishment.
Overall, the Rangers offense had 15 hits. Beltre obviously was the leader, with four hits. There were a bunch of hits scattered throuh the offence, but seriously – I don’t want to break that down. Just want to bask in the glow of the cycle. :)
There was a nice shot of Nolan Ryan giving Matt Harrison a standing ovation along with the rest of the crowd when he finally did give up a hit.
Make sure and hit the mlb.com game recap link at the top of this story to watch the video clips from this one. Much goodness to recall there.