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Guzman hits for cycle

Sorry for not getting this up on the blog earlier, but from the moment Cristian Guzman hit his cycle tonight, I was in frantic re-write mode, ripped up a story that was all about the good stuff Washington had already shown (Elijah Dukes, John Lannan) and instead following the obvious new lead. Indeed, Guzman is just the second player in Nats history (post-Canada defection) to hit for the cycle. Brad Wilkerson pulled the stunt on April 6, 2005.

Guzman's night?

He homered in the first.

He singled in the second. (Getting thrown out at second, trying illogically - but fortuitously - to stretch a clear single into a double)

He doubled in the sixth.

He tripled in the eighth.

Pretty cool, that he saved the hardest part for last. Once he pounced on that low, inside pitch from Joe Beimel and pounded it into the gap, he was off -- and flying like Usain. The Nats' dugout erupted. He slid into third without drawing a throw. It didn't mean anything in terms of the game (which the Nats already led by seven runs; eight, after Guzman's triple knocked in another), but it produced one of the most memorable individual performances of the season.


Q: How did it feel?
CG: Oh, it feels great. See, I'm still sweating.

Q: When you hit that ball, did you know it was a triple?
CG: I was going for it all the way. I knew I needed a triple, so as soon as I hit the ball, I knew I was going to third.

Q: So it was good you got thrown out going to second there (in the second)?
CG: [Laughing] No, yeah, it was good.

Q: Guys in the dugout, before you came up in the eighth, were encouraging you?
CG: Yeah, everybody was saying, Hit a triple, hit a triple! So I say, OK, I'm trying. [Laughs]

Q: How much does it mean to you?
CG: Oh, you know, it's hard to do it. For a player to do that, you have to, you know, feel great.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 28, 2008; 11:34 PM ET
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Next: The talent of Elijah Dukes



Oh, and Second. Third. Round-tripper too. Way to go Guzzy.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | August 28, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm not sure what bizarro team this has been the last few days but it sure is fun to see. Bring on Atlanta.

Posted by: AlexL925 | August 28, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

What a great night...I'm glad the weather improved and we ended up going to the game. It's the second MLB game I've been to where a player has hit for the cycle. Guzman has been our most conistent player and I'm thrilled for him. Also, Dukes has some POWER. When he hit that second homer, Manny didn't even turn around in left field - it was one of those where there was no doubt from the second it left the bat. While this type of game has been a rare occurence, it's great when it does happen. Bring on the Braves!

Posted by: BSG | August 29, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

And, of course, everyone should remember what happened the last time we played the Braves.

I'll give you a hint: Willie Harris was right all along about "New Coke"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | August 29, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Looks like I might not be going to Washington afterall

Posted by: Strasburg | August 29, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Dang it!!!!!! They are better than Fort Worth

Posted by: Aaron Crow | August 29, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

This Eckstein guy's really working out so far!

Posted by: AlexL925 | August 29, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice gamer, Chico, though methinks that you may have underestimated Guze a bit. Though the odds were long for this year, with his having hit only three, he led the AL in triples three times (granted, he was younger and playing on artificial turf).

As noted in the previous thread, I am sooo jealous of those who were at the game and saw him hit for the cycle. I'm also very happy for Guze. It must feel terrific for him to have come back from injuries as he has this year, particularly after the way he was disparaged in previous years as a Nat (I've never booed him or any other Nat but plenty of people did). Good for you, Guze!

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

What a great night to be at the ballgame. Given the choice we had, between preseason Skins and the Nats, I'm glad we chose the latter.

Posted by: natschick | August 29, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

"I think the difference is whether you're talking about games below .500 during the season or after the season. During, as long as you have more games left than the difference between your wins and losses, it would make sense to use the measurement of [guy who keeps changing his name to some arrogant quip]. If a team is 30 and 50, it is 20 games below .500 because it could win 20 in a row to reach .500. However, at the end of a season, you're really asking how many more games a team would have had to have won to finish with a .500 record. Therefore, a team that finishes 61-101 is not, in fact, 40 games below, because there aren't 40 more games to play (and win in a row). That team finished 20 games below .500, because had it won 20 more (and lost 20 less) it would have finished at 81-81."

I hate to come back to this, especially after such a great win, but you guys with your alternate definitions of "games under .500" are FLAT OUT WRONG. This isn't Alice in Wonderland, where words mean only what you say they mean, and likewise the definition of terms does not vary depending on whether you're in the season or out of it. Under common baseball terminology, standard usage over the lifetime of the game, if a team is 62-100 (for instance) they are 38 games under .500, not 19. If you don't believe me, ask your buddies Chico, Sheinin or Boswell in their next chats. They'll set you straight post haste.

What's your next crusade, to say that a player doesn't hit for the cycle unless they present him with a Schwinn in the clubhouse after the game?

Posted by: it's better to be arrogant than ignorant | August 29, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I hate to interrupt the arrogance not ignorance, but new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Better to be ignorant. Right. Got it.

Posted by: Nuke | August 29, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I didn't really hate to do it - I actually kind of enjoyed it. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 29, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Write it down.

Posted by: Crash | August 29, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Guz hitting for the cycle was the single most exciting play I have seen all year. The crowd (what was left of it) went absolutely bonkers.

Also, did anyone see sportscenter this morning completely botch the coverage of it? They showed the first three hits, but not the most exciting part, the triple. Good thing they are covering preseason football ad nauseum though.

Posted by: IBC | August 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I am SO glad I was at last night's game! When Gooz came up to bat for the last time, a guy near us announced that Gooz needed a triple to hit for the cycle. My friend Betsy wondered aloud where he should aim a hit in Nationals Park to accomplish this. At just that moment Gooz clobbered the ball--and several of us pointed at it and said to Betsy in unison, "You hit it THERE!"


Posted by: Nationelle | August 29, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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