DENVER -- In the middle of their worst loss of the season, the Mets received their most impressive individual feat. Scott Hairston, a bench player with five hits total coming into the game, hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats at Coors Field on Friday.
His was the 10th cycle in franchise history and the first since Jose Reyes completed the feat on June 21, 2006.
"Bittersweet, definitely," was how Hairston described it after an 18-9 loss to the Rockies. "It was great while it was happening. But when they kept scoring runs, it just really wasn't that enjoyable."
On the double that completed the feat, Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez appeared to get a late jump, as Hairston's fly ball went over Gonzalez's head.
"I thought the way it looked off the bat, that he was going to catch it," Hairston said. "I was just praying that it would go over his head, and it did. It was a really good feeling, and something that I'll never forget."
Hairston had tripled to center field off Esmil Rogers in the fifth inning, homered down the left-field line against Drew Pomeranz in the fourth and singled to center against Pomeranz in the second. A member of the Coors Field grounds crew retrieved his home run ball during the game, giving it to Hairston for display.
But in the immediate aftermath of his cycle, Hairston could not completely enjoy the feat. Though three of his four hits drove in at least one run, Hairston watched as the Rockies plated 11 runs of their own in the fifth inning and another five in the seventh. Individual feats -- even exceedingly rare ones -- meant little to him in the context of such a loss.
"Scotty had a great day," manager Terry Collins said, "and it's going to go unnoticed in a game like this."
Others to accomplish the feat for the Mets include John Olerud in 1997, Keith Hernandez in '85 and Tommie Agee in '70. Jim Hickman hit the franchise's first cycle on Aug. 7, 1963, the only natural cycle (single, double, triple, home run, in that order) in team history.
A bench player who starts regularly in the outfield against left-handed pitching, Hairston entered the game with five hits in 29 at-bats all season.
Now, he has nine hits in 34 at-bats.
"It's a big feat," Hairston said. "It's something that a lot of players can't say they've done. I'm proud of that. It's just one of those days where it is bittersweet. It would have been a lot nicer if we would have won the game."