09/14/2003 3:32 PM ET
Guerrero hits for cycle against Mets
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
MONTREAL -- Vladimir Guerrero had one of his best days of the season Sunday as the Montreal Expos defeated the New York Mets, 7-3, at Olympic Stadium. He became the second member of the Montreal Expos to hit for the cycle in 2003. Brad Wilkerson accomplished the feat on June 24 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Vladimir Guerrero (right) hit for the cycle Sunday for the first time in his career. (Andre Pichette/AP)
Guerrero and Wilkerson are two of four players to hit for the cycle this season. Outfielder Eric Brynes of the Oakland A's and Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians are the others who pulled the trick.
In the second inning, Guerrero hit a double against left-hander Tom Glavine. The next inning he singled and then tripled to right two innings later-- all off Glavine.
Guerrero stepped up to the plate in the seventh, took an 0-1 pitch and hit his 24th home run of the season over the right-field fence off right-hander Dan Wheeler.
"I feel good and the most important thing is that we came from behind and won the ballgame," Guerrero said through interpreter and third base coach Manny Acta.
Said Wilkerson, "It was just amazing. I was sitting in the dugout and I said, 'He's going to do it.' He didn't try to do too much. He took the ball the other way. He got a pitch he could hit hard. It's a special moment to do
something like that."
Guerrero admitted that he was aware that he was close to the cycle when he stepped up to the plate to face Wheeler.
"The first pitch was a breaking ball and it was for a strike and then I was looking for the [breaking ball] and I got it," Guerrero said. "There was just one at-bat to go and I just went up there and tried to swing hard and see
what happens and it happened."
"He knew they were going to throw nothing he can pull, so he stayed back to hit that breaking pitch and took it the other way. He's the only one who can do that. That's crazy," shortstop Orlando Cabrera said. "He was in the zone and he knew he had to take it the other way and he did. He's capable of doing all that stuff."
The 21,417 fans in attendance gave Guerrero a standing ovation that lasted about five minutes after the home run. The right-handed-hitting Guerrero admitted that the large crowd motivated him to do well.
After the game, Guerrero was spotted outside the locker room being congratulated by family and friends, and manager Frank Robinson could be heard calling his star outfielder, "Cycle man." A few minutes later, outfielder Ron Calloway was so amazed by what occurred that he called
While the Expos were happy for their star outfielder, they wondered aloud what the season might have been like if Guerrero hadn't missed almost two months of the season because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
"What's sad is I wonder where this team would have been if he didn't get hurt. That's the only thing I think about," said general manager Omar Minaya. "I spent too many times thinking about it. I believe we had a team here that was as good as any team in the National League."
Said Cabrera, "We really missed him when he was out of the lineup because you know he is going to have the great year if he's healthy. He could have been home right now resting for next year, but he's not. He's here playing with us and enjoying the time."
The Expos now have six players -- Guerrero, Wilkerson, Rondell White, Tim Foli, Chris Speier and Tim Raines -- who have hit for the cycle in their history.
Guerrero also became just the second player in baseball history to hit for the cycle on Sept. 14. The late Ken Boyer accomplished the feat as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals on the same date in 1961.
The Expos also became the first team since the 1998 Colorado Rockies to have two players (Dante Bichette and Neifi Perez) hit for the cycle.
For the season, Guerrero is hitting .329 with 24 home runs and 77 RBIs.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.