My dad and I both hated it: for 14 years, every time they would talk about someone going for a cycle in a Yankees broadcast or had a trivia question about it on the radio, the answer was always Tony Fernandez. The Yankees signed Fernandez in 1995 to be a one-year stopgap until top prospect Derek Jeter was ready to man shortstop. Fernandez would be a 5-time All-Star who hit the Yankees really hard, but in his one year in the Bronx, he had his worst season in the Majors with a .245/.322/.346 line. The Yankees would go down in a painful ALDS loss to the Mariners and Fernandez would go down as one of my least favorite Yankees ever.
Melky Cabrera changed that today. He became the 15th Yankee to hit for the cycle. Before Fernandez (9/3/95), the last six Yankees to hit for the cycle were Bobby Murcer (8/29/72), Mickey Mantle (7/23/57), Joe DiMaggio (5/20/48) and Joe Gordon (9/8/40). Amazingly, Bobby Murcer’s cycle only came with one RBI.
Melky’s today led to a big Yankees’ win. If you thought you were turning this game on to see a pitching duel, you were sorely mistaken. CC Sabathia was not great, but got the win. Mark Buehrle came off of his Major League record streak of 45-straight batters retired, and got hit hard by the Yankees.
But the biggest hitter of all was Melky Cabrera who got it started early with the 3-run home run and ended it late with a triple that led to a big insurance run. Melky had all of the Yankees extra base hits in the game. Melky said in his post-game interview with Kimberly Jones of YES that he would have gone for third even if he would have gotten out. That’s not really what you want to hear, but it was good to see how excited Melky was after the triple. He worked himself back into the starting lineup this season and has been hitting really well recently (.819 OPS in July).
This was a big win for the Yankees. They need to get back on a roll with Boston coming in to the Bronx this week. Hopefully this is the first step in that process.