Streaking And Seth Smith Cycles Subsequently (Nearly)

The Padres are on their first 3-game winning streak of the season! Within this streak, the Padres have put up their highest and second-highest (as well as their seventh-highest) run totals of the season. During said streak, Seth Smith has missed a cycle by one hit on consecutive days (needing a home run on Friday, a single on Saturday). I figured these were interesting, albeit meaningless, events to take a look at.

After Sunday’s 5-4 victory, coming on the tails of Saturday’s 9-3 victory and Friday’s 10-1 victory, I started thinking about weird things. Perhaps it’s the dearth of offense this season, but I started to think the Padres were on track to do something unusual. As it turns out, I got way ahead of myself. Stupid 2014. Anyway, this 3-game streak of 5+ runs is the 242nd time the Padres have had such a streak. One more run on Sunday would have put them in a bit more exclusive company (okay, not really): 111th at 6+ runs. Even if they matched the 9 runs from Friday, it would be the 7th time the Padres had such streak. Okay, not really all that special.

The longest streak 0f 5+ runs is ten games, between 5/29-6/7/1997. It’s probably unreasonable to expect these Padres to match that lengthy, arbitrary streak. The second-longest streak was 8 games in 2010, the last of which was the first loss of the infamous 10-game losing streak that doomed what was a “certain” division title and playoff berth. A 6-game streak seems unattainable for a team that has struggled mightily on offense, but the 91 loss 2011 (with a similar mix of good pitching and atrocious offense) did just that.

Of course, it’s important to remember that none of this means anything.

The Final Piece

Seth Smith has had a good week. A .500 average, 9 extra-base hits, wrapped up nicely in a 1.576 OPS. Oh, and he almost hit for the cycle. Twice. On consecutive days. The cycle is one of those things people really love to argue on behalf of being meaningless. In the grand scheme of things, sure. For suckers like us who’ve never seen one (or a no-hitter) and constantly have that fact rubbed in our faces? Well, it’s still meaningless. Especially considering that multi-hit nights, including multiple XBH, usually amount to a great night at the plate. Still, it’d be nice to see a cycle. You know, just in case?

We’ve had roughly a billion games where a Padre missed the cycle by a single hit (okay, 353), but Smith surely has to be the only one to do it on consecutive days, right? As it turns out, he’s the fourth. The first to do it? You know who it was. Tony Gwynn did in on 5/20/91 and 5/21/91 in Atlanta. The second came almost exactly ten years later, when Phil Nevin teased us on 4/28/01 and 4/29/01 vs Pittsburgh. Brian Giles did it on consecutive nights vs Atlanta (8/17/04, 8/18/04), both games having a bit of a painful(?) anecdote attached to them. Left Coast Bias discussed the game on the 18th in this post, so you should read that. In short, Giles was intentionally walked and fell short of the cycle by a single. On the 17th, he was a triple shy when he was removed for Brian Buchanan. I can’t seem to find any explanation for the substitution, so if you remember please inform in the comments.

Smith, as we know now, is the 4th to accomplish this rare, arbitrary, but oh-so-fun to discuss feat. And not only does he join Brian Giles on this list, but he joins him as the 10th player in Padres history to miss the cycle by a single.

 

Padres who have missed the cycle by a single. (Baseball-Reference)

Padres who have missed the cycle by a single. (Baseball-Reference)

 

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  • ari

    Heard on the broadcast that Jim Riggleman (manager at the time) didn’t realize that he was going for the cycle and wanted to take him out of the game to save his knees