Similar to the fame gained from sluggers using performance-enhancing drugs, Troy Tulowitzki's cycle Monday night was cemented by rule bending.
But this deceit was not his own creation.
The Rockies shortstop homered in the first inning, struck a single in the next frame, then doubled in the fourth leaving him just a triple shy of the cycle.
In his fourth at-bat, Tulowitzki torched a pitch down the left field line.
As the play developed, it was clear from the get-go he would easily coast into second for a double.
But then Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano bobbled the ball, triggering in Troy's mind advice teammate Brad Hawpe gave him earlier in the game.
“We were sitting on the bench together and he was telling me, ‘If you get anywhere close to getting a triple you better go,”’ Tulowitzki said.
Destined to make history, he chugged around second to attempt a triple.
Though it was clear Soriano's bobble afforded Tulowitzki the opportunity to stretch his double into a three-bagger, he received help once again when the relay throw beat him to the base but bounced under the glove of Chicago third baseman Jake Fox.
Had the throw been on target, he would have been out by 12 feet.
After the dust settled, Rockies' official scorer Dave Plati credited Tulowitzki with a triple and he became the sixth player to hit for the cycle this year.
Two should-have-been errors on one play converted the sure double into a three base gift, handing Tulowitzki the rare designation.
But I felt as if I was watching a bunt break up a ninth inning no-hitter.
How fair is it that Tulowitzki receives credit for accomplishing something only 246 players have in over 100 years of baseball, despite the glaring no-calls?
Plati hand-wrapped and delivered Tulowitzki this historically significant feat, and I'm not so sure it should not be taken away from him for the sake of integrity.
The mistake was made in the scorer's box, not on the field, so do not blame Tulowitzki for his top-flight performance.
A far too generous scoring of the play cheapened the magnitude of this historically uncommon event.
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