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Matthews Jr. Wins Tour de MoTown

Gary Matthews Jr’s journey-man days are over

Gary Matthews Jr. can best be described as an “I’ve Been Everywhere” player.  Since coming to the Major Leagues in 1999 with the Padres, Matthews has played for the Cubs, Pirates, Orioles, Mets, and for the last 3 seasons, the Texas Rangers.  Before this season, his best year was with the Rangers in 2004, when he hit .275 with 11HR and 36RBI in 87 games (he also had solid campaigns in 2002 with Baltimore and 2005 with Texas), but with 2006 winding down, Matthews Jr will set career marks in just about every offensive category. 

Matthews Jr. is batting .312 with 17HR and 74RBI this season, as the Rangers regular leadoff hitter.  He also has a .373OBP and a .501SLG, coupled with 8SB’s.  Those are all career highs for the 32-year-old outfielder, who may have finally found his groove.  Earlier in the season, he also made a spectacular play, climbing the right-centerfield wall to rob the Astros’ Mike Lamb of a solo homerun.  Lamb applauded the catch from the basepaths, saying “It’s going to go on the highlights for a while … and it should”.  That catch exemplified Matthews Jr’s effort in every game he plays, and the always-dependable glove and arm he has in centerfield. 

This season has been amazing for Gary Matthews Jr, and it reached its climax today.  Matthews hit a single in the 1st, then a double in the 2nd, followed by a triple in the 4th, and a homerun in the 6th for his 1st career cycle, and just the 3rd in Rangers’ history.  Matthews Jr’s cycle was also special in 2 other ways:

  1. It was a “natural cycle” — the hits progressed from single to homerun in order of increasing bases
  2. He recorded the single, double, and triple off one of baseball’s best rookies, Justin Verlander

The Rangers outfielder will always remember September 13, 2006 — the day he won the Tour de MoTown.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

TRIVIA SEGMENT

Yesterday’s Question was…

The last time the Yankees won the World Series was in 2000, when they defeated their cross-town rival Mets in 5 games.  Who was the Winning Pitcher for the Yankees in Game 5 of that series?

And the answer…

Mike Stanton.  The lefty reliever also won Game 1 of the Series.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Today’s Trivia Question…

Who was the first Texas Rangers player to hit for the cycle?

Hint: he did it in 1985

You can respond by posting a comment, and the answer will be at the end of my next post. 

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