In the great history of this sport, there have been 15 hitters to achieve the Triple Crown. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is looking to add himself to a list that includes the likes of Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson, and Carl Yastrzemski. Yasterzemski, of course, was the last person to do it back in 1967.
What is the Triple Crown? Well for those that are unaware, the Triple Crown is achieved when a hitter leads their league in batting average, homeruns, and runs batted in. There is also a Triple Crown for pitchers where they must lead their league in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts. However, it is arguably more impressive when a hitter does it due to the amount of competition that they must face.
With two days left in the season, nearly every baseball fan is on the edge of their seats, just waiting to see if Cabrera can actually accomplish this rare feat. As of this writing, Cabrera has a batting average of .325, 43 homeruns, and 136 RBIs. He leads Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the batting average race by .002 points, as Mauer currently sits at .323. He is tied with Texas Rangers powerhouse Josh Hamilton for homeruns, but he also has nine more runs batted in than Hamilton, who currently has 127. With such a small lead in two of those three categories, Cabrera must be wary of Mauer and Hamilton. A few hits by Mauer could give him the lead in average, and a homerun by Hamilton, could give him the homerun lead. I personally think that Miguel Cabrera will not end up with the Triple Crown by season’s end. It is very possible, but I just see him losing the lead in average.
I foresee Cabrera leading in homeruns because Josh Hamilton only has one homerun in his last ten games. That homerun came on September 24th against the Oakland Athletics. Compared to Cabrera, who has two in his last ten, one of which came tonight against the Kansas City Royals.
However batting average is where things begin to falter for Cabrera. In his last ten games, Cabrera is 11 for 39, equaling out to a .282 batting average. In Joe Mauer’s last ten games, he is 13 for 39, giving him a .333 batting average. While both players are currently swinging hot bats, it is Mauer’s bat that is hotter, and I believe that it will give him a slight edge in this race. However should Mauer begin to slump in his last two games, then I would say Cabrera has a very good shot at taking the lead in batting average. However, I find it unlikely that Mauer doesn’t get a few more hits than Cabrera in these next two games.
No player has hit for the Triple Crown in 45 years. Unfortunately, I see that drought lasting a little longer. Miguel Cabrera is having himself a tremendous season, but small leads in important categories lead me to believe that he will not hold on. While he may end up with the lead in homeruns, I do think that Mauer will ultimately end up overtaking him in batting average.
However, Triple Crown or not, I do not see Cabrera getting the AL MVP vote. But that is a totally different argument…
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