Adrian Beltre: Oh, What A Week!

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 8/28/12**

Coming into Monday of last week Adrian Beltre had 17 hits for the month of August which included three doubles and one home run. He had been in a slump for what seemed like an eternity but it wasn’t as if he was striking out a lot, as Josh Hamilton did when he was struggling. He was making contact but the power didn’t seem to be there. Last Monday he had one hit. Last Tuesday he went hitless again, causing more worry amongst fans. But you knew that Ron Washington wouldn’t rest him. Wash sticks by his guys and asks them to tough it out.
And tough it out he did.

On Wednesday Beltre exploded with three home runs in just the first four innings. He went hitless in his last two at-bats but it was just what he needed. It’s what we all needed. On Thursday he had three more hits including another home run and a double. He was finally back. It couldn’t get any better than this.

Then Friday night happened.

Beltre hit a RBI triple in his first at-bat. With the way he was grooving the ball it was hard for fans on Twitter not to predict the cycle. After all he got the hardest part out of the way first. In the second inning he hit a double. Then in the fifth he hit a home run. Was it going to happen? A line drive single in the seventh answered that question and completed the second cycle of his career.

It was the sixth cycle in Texas Rangers history as Beltre joined Oddibe McDowell, Mark Teixeira, Gary Matthews Jr., Ian Kinsler and Bengie Molina on the short list. Overall it was the 294th in MLB history. By comparison there have been 278 no-hitters in the history of the great game so you can say that the cycle is not as common an occurrence as one might think.

But there’s even more to it. Beltre’s 29 total bases in Thursday through Saturday’s games are the third most by any player since 1900 (baseball’s modern era). He became the first player since 1900 to hit for the cycle in the same ballpark as a member of both a visiting and home team. He completed it against Texas when he was with the Seattle Mariners. And he’s just the second player since Joe DiMaggio in 1948 to have a three home run game and a cycle in the same week.

I love witnessing baseball history and it’s even more satisfying when it’s made by your favorite team. And when Beltre and Hamilton are both clicking at the same time it makes the whole team better. It appears to elevate everybody else’s game. And it couldn’t have come at a better time as we head into September and the final month of the season.

The question became what can he do for an encore?

On Saturday and Sunday Beltre went a combined 0-8 with two strikeouts. Was it over? Had he just flirted with our emotions for one week against subpar pitching?

Then last night happened. Beltre showed that he was still back as he went 3-4 with a double, home run and four RBI in Texas’ 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

I don’t think we have to worry about another major slump from Adrian Beltre anymore.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shut Down Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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