StaTuesday: Yelich’s cycle was one for the ages

Christian Yelich‘s performance against Cincinnati on Aug. 29 certainly was one for the ages.

The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder recorded his first cycle, which is momentous enough, but he did even more.

According to STATS, Yelich was the first National League player to have six hits and hit for the cycle since 1920 (the “live ball era”). He also was the first player to hit for the cycle, have a fifth hit and record an outfield assist since the Cubs‘ Andre Dawson on April 29, 1987 (Dawson won MVP that year, too. Just saying.).

So, yeah, that was one historical performance.

The game just punctuated an incredible second half Yelich has had. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .356/.406/.729 — his 1.135 OPS trails only the DodgersJustin Turner (1.213, although in only 28 games compared to Yelich’s 41) with 16 home runs, 36 runs and 40 RBI.

Back to the cycle. It was the eighth recorded in Brewers history — not surprisingly, all have come in Milwaukee victories — and first to occur in an extra-inning game, although Yelich had all six of his plate appearances in the first nine innings.

Yelich’s cycle was not the most surprising in Brewers history, after all catchers account for three of the eight. George Kottaras had the last Milwaukee cycle back in 2011. Chad Moeller also had one in 2004 while Charlie Moore had the second cycle in team history, in 1980. Moore is also the only one of the eight to have a stolen base in a cycle game — and he had two!

BREWERS TO HIT FOR THE CYCLE

PLAYER DATE OPP AB H R RBI
Mike Hegan 9/3/1976 DET 5 4 2 6
Charlie Moore 10/1/1980 CAL 5 4 3 3
Robin Yount 6/12/1988 CWS 4 4 4 2
Paul Molitor 5/15/1991 MIN 5 4 2 1
Chad Moeller 4/27/2004 CIN 5 4 1 4
Jody Gerut 5/8/2010 ARI 6 4 3 4
George Kottaras 9/3/2011 HOU 5 4 2 2
Christian Yelich 8/29/2018 CIN 6 6 2 3

In addition to the above, Moeller reached base via an error and Hegan and Yount both walked.

Milwaukee’s eight cycles are tied for the eighth-most in MLB since 1970, the first year of the Brewers’ existence.

TEAM NO.
Rangers 12
Twins 10
Giants 10
Red Sox 9
Expos/Nationals 9
Mets 9
Rockies 8
Astros 8
Brewers 8
Diamondbacks 6
Royals 6
A’s 6
Pirates 6
Cardinals 6
Angels 5
White Sox 5
Indians 4
Mariners 4
Braves 3
Orioles 3
Cubs 3
Tigers 3
Dodgers 3
Yankees 3
Phillies 2
Padres 2
Rays 2
Blue Jays 2
Reds 1

While the cycle is a rare feat, even rarer is getting six hits in a game. Since 1970, there have been only 56 occurrences of a six- or seven-hit game done by 55 players (only Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett had two six-hit games over that span).

Like we said at the start, one for the ages.

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns