Stephen Drew and Adrian Beltre are pretty similar players. Both are fairly aggressive hitters (Beltre has a career 0.44 BB/K rate, while Drew is at 0.46) with some power (heading into Monday, Beltre’s ISO this year is .186, while Drew’s is .180). Drew plays SS like a 3B while Beltre plays 3B like an SS. They’re not clones, but as far as baseball players go, they aren’t that different.
So, it’s fitting that on the day when Drew became the third player in Diamondbacks history to hit for the cycle, Beltre would follow a few hours later by becoming the fourth player in Mariner history to accomplish the same feat. Both even racked up five hits, though Drew had a pair of doubles while Beltre doubled up on the single.
So, which cycle helped their team more?
Drew racked up .396 worth of WPA, led by his first double of the night. In the seventh inning of a tie game and a runner on, his two base hit set the stage for the D’Backs to take the lead – the leverage index for that play was 2.30, so he gets a nice clutch bonus for coming through when the team certainly needed a run.
Beltre accumulated .387 WPA, and because he just wants to be like Stephen, he also doubled with a runner on first in a tie game in the 7th inning. The score was even identical in both games (6-6), and just like Arizona, the Mariners went on to take the lead on an ensuing single.
It was only the second time in baseball history that two players have ever hit for the cycle on the same day. It hadn’t happened in 88 years, and it will probably be 88 years before we ever see it again. The fact that the two players had such similar games, and are such similar players, just makes it all the more interesting.
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