Photo: David Banks/Getty

Before you come in here with your mew mew mew cycles aren’t valuable, a two-homer game is more valuable than a cycle routine, know this: cycles are good because they are unlikely and interesting. If an alien spacecraft were to land on the pitcher’s mound in the third inning of a meaningless September baseball game, it would get lots of attention. And why? Because an alien spacecraft landing on the pitcher’s mound is unlikely and interesting.

Jose Abreu of the White Sox hit for the cycle in a meaningless September baseball game last night, between two of the worst teams in the majors. It was good. It was especially good because it was the best kind of cycle: Abreu got the dinger out of the way first, and wound up needing a triple—the least likely part of the cycle—as the final piece. All cycles are good, but a cycle that starts with a triple is always less interesting than one that ends with a triple.

That the triple came on a gapper in the ninth inning of a nine-run game, and required actual sprinting to gain the extra base, means that Abreu can probably expect to catch a baseball in his armpit in one of his next few at-bats against the Giants. It was worth it! Abreu was a double away from hitting for his first career cycle in a loss August 20, the man wasn’t gonna let this one get away.