A look back at every cycle in Brewers history
There have been nine cycles (single, double, triple, home run) accomplished by Milwaukee Brewers players — two of those by Christian Yelich in 2018.
With FOX Sports Wisconsin broadcasting Yelich’s second cycle, against the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 17 of that year, on Friday night at 7 p.m., we thought we’d take a look back at all nine. You might not expect to see some of the names on this list, proving once again you never know what you’ll see when you watch a baseball game.
(Note: Listed in order of occurrence)
MIKE HEGAN – SEPT. 3, 1976
The first cycle in Brewers history was done by the relatively-light hitting Hegan, who was in his second stint with Milwaukee. Hegan was a lifetime .242 hitter who hit just 18 triples and 53 home runs in his 12-year career, which spanned 966 games and 2,451 plate appearances. On top of that, Hegan’s cycle partly came against Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, who would be named that season’s Rookie of the Year and finish second in Cy Young Award voting.
Hegan doubled off Fidrych in the first and homered in the third. In the fourth, he ripped a bases-loaded triple, which also knocked “The Bird” out of the game. In the sixth, now facing Bill Laxton, Hegan singled to complete the cycle. “I would have fallen down or something. There was no way I was going beyond first base,” Hegan joked afterwards. “I knew I only needed a single and I probably had two more chances to get it if I didn’t get it that time.”
Hegan flew out in the seventh and walked in the ninth to finish 4-for-5 with a pair of runs and six RBI. Making it even more special was his dad, Jim, was a coach on the Tigers.
“Somebody asked me if this was the best night I ever had. I told him if I had just gotten two hits it would have been the best night I ever had,” said Hegan, who didn’t have more than two hits in any other game in 1976 or for the rest of his career, which ended in 1977.
CHARLIE MOORE — OCT. 1, 1980
Moore had a good year in 1980 – batting .291 – but entered the final home game for the California Angels with just three hits in his last 17 at-bats. But Moore swung the bat well on this day – as did nearly every one of his teammates.
Milwaukee rapped out 19 hits with Moore, Paul Molitor (a triple shy of the cycle) and Ben Oglivie each collecting four. The Brewers also stole five bases (and Oglivie was caught once) with Moore having two of those.
The Brewers scored three times in the opening inning, but Moore batted ninth in the lineup so his first at-bat wasn’t until the second, when he singled off Ed Halicki. In the fourth, he hit a solo home run off Chris Knapp. In the sixth, it was now Dave Schuler on the mound and Moore tripled. In the eighth against Mark Clear he got the double for the cycle. Moore would bat again in the ninth against a fifth different pitcher – Jim Barr – but grounded out.
In addition to his cycle and two steals, Moore scored three times and drove in three.
“It was one of those days,” he said. “I haven’t had that many hits in the past month.”
ROBIN YOUNT – JUNE 12, 1988
Yount already had a single, double and home run when he stepped to the plate in the eighth inning at Comiskey Park. The Brewers led the White Sox 15-2.
“I was aware I needed a triple to hit for the cycle and in a game like that you can gamble,” Yount would admit.
Yount hit one into the left-center field gap and never stopped running until he slid headfirst into third to complete the cycle. The White Sox didn’t even try to throw him out.
“The triple is the hardest to hit because you have to hit it in the right place, you have to find an alley,” said Yount, who led the American League triples with 11 in 1988.
Yount had singled in the first inning, homered in the third, walked in the fifth and doubled in the sixth. He scored four runs and had two RBI.
“It takes some luck to hit for the cycle and you have to get the hits in the right places,” Yount said.
PAUL MOLITOR – MAY 15, 1991
In the above game, Molitor had a single, double and triple before being take out in the blowout. If Molitor was going to have a cycle anywhere, figure it would come in his home state. Born in St. Paul, Minn., Molitor achieved his Brewers cycle at the Metrodome against the Twins.
Leading off as the team’s designated hitter, Molitor tripled off Kevin Tapani to open the game. He added a single in the third and doubled in the fifth. Tapani was still on the mound when Molitor led off the seventh and he got his home run to finish off the cycle. Molitor got one more at-bat in the ninth and grounded out, but his four hits, two runs and RBI helped the Brewers to a 4-2 win.
“Good things seem to happen to Minnesota players who return to the Dome,” Molitor said.
Noting that Dave Winfield recently hit three homers at the Dome and Jack Morris won his 200th game there – both also St. Paul natives – Molitor said, “I guess this place must be lucky for us.”
CHAD MOELLER – APRIL 27, 2004
The first cycle to occur in Milwaukee was of course done in the 25th year of the franchise by a catcher batting eighth in the lineup with seven career triples.
Moeller got his home run out of the way early, hitting a solo shot off Cincinnati’s Cory Lidle in the second inning. He kept the power stroke going against Lidle by doubling in the fourth and hitting a bases-loaded triple in the fifth.
In the seventh, Moeller now had to face Ryan Wagner and he got the single he needed for the cycle. In the ninth, he reached on a two-out error, keeping the inning alive for Bill Hall, who hit a three-run walk-off homer against Danny Graves for a 9-8 Milwaukee win.
Moeller had just a .303 slugging percentage in 2004, with 13 doubles, the lone triple and five home runs. It wasn’t lost on him that the last two Brewers to record a cycle were Molitor and Yount.
“It’s pretty darn cool to be in that company,” he said. “They are some of the best that have ever played the game. I am nowhere even in the ZIP code of being with those guys. But with one little silly stat I am.”
JODY GERUT – MAY 8, 2010
Gerut played only 117 games for Milwaukee in 2009-10 with his final major-league appearance coming two weeks after he got his cycle – which, of course, occurred on the road, at Arizoan.
Entering this Saturday, Gerut had made just three starts and was just 4-for-30 (.133) on the season. Gerut had flashed power over his career, though, hitting 22 home runs as a rookie with Cleveland in 2005 and posting 30+ doubles in each of his first two seasons.
Batting sixth, Gerut led off the top of the second with a home run for the Brewers’ first run. He got up again I the third, singling during a four-run inning. In the fifth, he tripled off Cesar Valdez, making his second major-league appearance, knocking the starting pitcher out of the game.
Gerut flew out in the sixth and grounded out in the seventh. He wasn’t due up until sixth in the ninth – the Brewers led 13-3 so extra innings seemed pretty doubtful. Gerut got a break when Rickie Weeks reached on an error to open the inning. Two of the next three batters struck out, with Ryan Braun doubling. Pinch hitter Joe Inglett got Gerut to the plate with a single and the cycle was then completed when Gerut doubled off reliever Chad Qualls.
“It’s unbelievable,” Gerut said. “It was unlike anything I’ve experienced in this game.”
Gerut would have just two more extra-base hits with the Brewers and finished with a .197 average in 74 plate appearances.
“Somebody asked me if this was the best night I ever had. I told him if I had just gotten two hits it would have been the best night I ever had.” — Mike Hegan
GEORGE KOTTARAS – SEPT. 3, 2011
Amazingly, of the nine cycles in Brewers history, three were by catchers. And Kottaras was only in the lineup because manager Ron Roenicke wanted more lefties to hit against Houston’s Bud Norris.
Unlike the previous cycles, Kottaras made an out – on a fly ball – in his first at-bat. In the fourth inning, he homered off Norris then in the sixth got a triple – just the second of three in his career.
It was the sixth but, yes, Milwaukee was once again on the road and he led off the inning. The single came in the next inning against reliever Aneury Rodriguez.
The Brewers cycled (pun intended) through the lineup enough where Kottaras was due up second in the ninth inning. Facing David Carpenter, Kottarass ripped a ground-rule double to center field for yet another improbable cycle. If not for the ball bouncing over the wall, Kottaras might have had another triple.
“I was almost at second when the ball bounced out so that made it happen. I’ll take it for sure,” Kottaras said. “I wasn’t trying for the cycle …. It made me feel good inside. It was a great feeling.”
CHRISTIAN YELICH – AUG. 29, 2018
Yelich did a lot of amazing things during his MVP season and this game has to be near – or at the top – of the list.
This game at Cincinnati went 10 innings, but Yelich had the cycle by the seventh. Yelich compiled six hits overall – making him the first National League player to hit for the cycle and have six hits since 1920.
“I’ve never seen a game like that,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was incredible. He’s coming up and you’re thinking he can’t do it again, and he does it again. He did everything tonight, he really did. He’s driving the bus home tonight.”
Yelich had singles in his first two at-bats before homering off Reds starter Matt Harvey in the fifth inning. In the sixth, he doubled off reliever Michael Lorenzen.
The triple, of course, is the hardest part of the cycle and that’s all that remained. In the seventh, facing David Hernandez, he got it, for the eighth cycle in Milwaukee history and second against Cincinnati. For good measure, Yelich would also single in the ninth. He didn’t bat in the 10th, when the Brewers scored twice to help them win a crazy 13-12 games.
“It’s one of those things you never really expect to do,” Yelich said. “Obviously you’ve got to have some luck involved in it, that’s always a factor when you do something like that.”
Luck would strike again three weeks later.
CHRISTIAN YELICH, SEPT. 17, 2018
Once again against Cincinnati, although this time at Miller Park, Yelich did it again.
He started with a single and double before homering in the fifth. Again he needed a triple to complete the cycle and again he came though.
With one out in the sixth inning – the sixth – he tripled in a pair. That made the score 8-0 and this time Yelich took a seat for the rest of the game; no padding on to his stat line in this one.
“I honestly don’t even know how to describe it,” Yelich said. “I don’t know if it’s really set in yet, but it’s definitely crazy and you try to enjoy it as much as possible. It’s nice to do it at home, too, in front of the home fans. It was a pretty exciting moment.”
Yelich became the first player in major-league history to hit for the cycle against the same team twice ni a season and just the fifth to even have multiple cycles in the same year. And two of those were done in the 19th century.
“There’s been so many great players to play this game,” he said. “It just shows how freaky, I guess, that is. A lot of luck goes into that. It’s hard enough to get four hits in a Major League Baseball game, yet alone have them all be the right ones and the right sequence.”
In perhaps the understatement of the year, Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani said, “There’s no question that he’s hot right now.”