Beltre looks low, aims high
August, 25, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
ESPN Stats & InformationTake a look at the heat map to see where Adrian Beltre’s hits came in his three-homer game on Wednesday and his cycle on Friday.A three-homer game one day, a cycle two days later? Adrian Beltre is channeling his inner-2004 self right now.
After hitting three home runs against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, Beltre hit his second career cycle against the Minnesota Twins.
Beltre is the second player in Major League history with a three-home run game and a cycle in a seven-day span. The only other one to do so was Joe DiMaggio in 1948, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
But nobody has done it in a shorter span than Beltre.
Only three other players in the last 25 seasons have had a three-homer game and a cycle in the same season, according to Elias: Jose Reyes in 2006, Miguel Tejada in 2001 and Dave Winfield in 1991.
All four of his hits on Friday and four of his five homers over the last three games came in the lower half of the strike zone. Beltre has 12 hits in his last 15 at-bats against pitches in the lower half of the strike zone.
Beltre’s only other career cycle came in 2008 for the Seattle Mariners against the Rangers. Elias says Beltre is just the second player since 1900 to hit for the cycle for and against the same team. The other is Joe Cronin, who hit a cycle for the Boston Red Sox in 1940 against the Detroit Tigers, and against the Red Sox 11 years earlier in 1929 while with the Washington Senators.
Beltre's triple and home run both came against two-strike breaking pitches. He now has five home runs this season against such pitches, more than his total from 2009 to 2011.
Beltre wasn’t the only player with a hot night at the plate on Friday. Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis homered three times.
Elias tells us the Orioles are the first team in MLB history to be involved in two straight games in which a player has hit at least three home runs. Beltre hit three against them Wednesday and Davis did it for them in their next game.
Earlier this season, Davis earned a win on the mound in a 17-inning game at the Boston Red Sox. He’s just the third player with a three-homer game in a season in which he won a game as a pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900). The other two to do so are Babe Ruth (1930 Yankees) and Jim Tobin (1942 Braves).
Davis' three homers came on pitches of very different speeds.
His first homer came on an 86-MPH fastball from Carlos Villanueva. He followed that up with a homer off a curveball Villanueva threw at 75 MPH, the slowest pitch against which Davis has homered this season. Against reliever Steve Delabar, Davis hit the third homer on a 95-MPH fastball, the fastest pitch against which Davis has homered this season.
Davis is the first player this year to homer on a pitch 75 MPH or slower and a pitch 95 MPH or faster in the same game.