Rockies Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez Eyeing Triple Crown Season

By Derek Kessinger

When Carlos Gonzalez stepped up to the plate Wednesday poised to hit his third homerun of the game, his message was simple, ” I’ll Have Another.” The horse by that name will try to win the Tripe Crown at the Belmont for the first time since Affirmed in 1978. Gonzalez is battling to lead the National League in batting average, homeruns and RBIs to win a feat that has not been accomplished since Joe Medwick for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937.

For Gonzalez, he is the major bright spot on a Colorado Rockies team that sits nine games below .500. He got hot at the beginning of May, a little earlier than in previous years where he has flirted with the Triple Crown of Baseball. With a .323 batting average, 13 homeruns and 41 RBIs this season, Gonzalez is creeping up on the top of the list in all categories. He is currently third in the National League in both RBIs and homeruns, and ninth in batting average.

2010 is the only season where Gonzalez played more than 130 games. He finished with his best statistical season with an average of .336, 117 RBIs and 34 homeruns. In a game against the Chicago Cubs, he hit for the cycle with the night ending on a walk-off homerun from the now 26-year-old. Gonzalez finished as the player’s choice for most outstanding player and he won the batting title. Gonzalez fell just short on homeruns and RBIs.

This year, Gonzalez is off to a faster start. If he continues to stay in this rhythm for the rest of the season, he could be a legitimate threat to capture the Triple Crown. Of course, the baseball detractors will want to take Gonzalez’s award away because he plays in Denver, not understanding that the Rockies installed a humidor that has normalized the ballpark’s altitude. If Gonzalez is able to rise to the top of the list in all three categories, the honor will be deserved.

On a Rockies team that sits 11.5 games back in the division, Gonzalez is a reason to continue watching. Jamie Moyer is making his exit from the club as the oldest player to win a game in the majors. The pitching staff’s ERA is last in Major League Baseball. Todd Helton is having his worst start to a season of his career and Troy Tulowizki is heading back to the DL in a down year. Carlos Gonzalez is the Mile High Man, until Manning takes the field for the Denver Broncos.

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