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Carlos Gonzalez surges ahead in the triple crown hunt

Sep 8, 2010, 9:40 AM EDT

All of the triple crown talk has been about Joey Votto and Albert Pujols — indeed, until just the other day they were the only two dudes in that triple crown tracker on the ESPN.com baseball front — but Carlos Gonzalez’s claim seems stronger than that of either of those guys at the moment.

Gonzalez was already ahead of Votto and Pujols in the batting title race — and recently surged ahead of would-be spoiler Omar Infante — thanks to his recent tear. Indeed, he’s batting .525 during his 15-game hitting streak. Last night CarGo hit a three-run homer as well, which put him ahead of Votto for first place in RBIs. At the moment he’s three homers shy of Pujols.

Pujols’ shot at it seems really, really long given how far down he is in average (he’s hitting “only” .308 compared to Gonzalez’s .340). Gonzalez is currently hotter than Votto and — more importantly — plays in a much more hitter-friendly ballpark.  I don’t think I’d bet the mortgage on Gonzalez hitting three more home runs than Pujols over the season’s final weeks, but if I had to lay odds, I like his chance to win the triple crown better than Votto’s.

And even if he falls short, a late-season surge by both Gonzalez and the Rockies may very well land him the MVP award.

  1. Steve C - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Its crazy that the Diamondbacks and Athletics have both traded Gonzo away.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    So now that Gonzalez is ahead of Infante, can we all admit that it was PRETTY FREAKING STUPID to say that he was a factor a month ago, when it wasn’t even a foregone concolusion that he was going to even get enough at bats to qualify…oh, and that he is a career .275 hitter with an OPS+ of 91 and would probably fade as the season went on…his FIRST as a starter in 5 years?

  3. APBA Guy - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    The A’s have traded away not only Car Go, but Andre Ethier and Nelson Cruz. I doubt that will be in the “Moneyball” movie.

  4. Ace2000 - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Fun fact: exactly 1 month ago today, on August 8, Infante was batting .339. His average now? .339. Not exactly fading. That number also happens to be a mere 1 point behind Gonzalez. So no, I don’t think it was stupid to call Infante a factor a month ago, and I don’t think it’s stupid to call him a factor today.

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 8, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Chris, sorry, but you’re a bit nuts. Infante is still hitting .339. Gonzalez just happens to be hitting near .600 over the past dew games. We should all “fade” so badly.

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Yes, silly A’s for not knowing how ridiculous his splits would be:
    Away: .288/.310/.450 7HR
    Home: .394/.440/.801(!) 25 HR

  7. nps6724 - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I see you still never let stats get in the way of your rants :)

  8. Mrsteve - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    The dude only has 7 hr’s on the road. He may win the triple crown with less HR’s than what Bonds or Reggie Jackson had at the all star break. Pathetic.

  9. Alex Poterack - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    That’s fewer HR’s. And Triple Crown is Triple Crown; it’s not CarGo’s fault there isn’t much home run hitting these days. I think we need more steroids.

  10. Aarcraft - Sep 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Well, even if you merely double that to get his true non-Coors value, which is a pretty faulty assumption, he would still have the second highest OPS on the A’s, and be tied for the most homeruns.

  11. scatterbrian - Sep 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    32 HRs, 25 unintentional walks.

  12. Seattleite - Sep 8, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    I think it’s pretty clear at this point that when some players adjust to Coor’s it has some negative effect on their road stats. That’s not to say that CarGo would be putting up this slash line anywhere, but simply saying that his road stats are indicative of his true ability is also faulty.
    Matt Holliday probably offers a pretty good case study. He’s certainly not putting up the numbers that he did in Coor’s, but he’s also putting up better numbers than he did on the road during his time with the Rockies. His 2005-08 road wOBA looks to be about .360 and his 09-10 is .390. It’s also interesting to not that that road wOBA increased every year to the point where there was only a .029 split in 2008 (for comparison, that split was .051 in 2009).

  13. keg64 - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Much more hitter friendly than the “great american small park”?

  14. Mrsteve - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    You should get the triple crown in being a the biggest asshole & member of the grammar police.

  15. Tony A - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Wow, someone who knows the difference between “less” and “fewer”…I’m seriously impressed. Also like that you might be missing the ‘roids; they did make for great entertainment…

  16. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Eh…I still say Infante is NOT A FACTOR in the Triple Crown. That’s my point and I’m sticking to it. And yes, I am nuts. Sometimes a little more than others. But when the article was written, he was batting .350. Now he is at .339. He will not end up above .315. Just like the Phillies will be 5 up before the Braves come to Philly and the Braves will be fighting the fading Padres for the Wild Card. Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!!!!

  17. BuckyBadger - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Even if he doesn’t get the triple crown he can become just the 4th player in MLB history to hit 3.40, 30+ HRs, 100+ RBIs and 20+ steals.
    Probably won’t get the triple crown but he should be a viable candidate for MVP.

  18. BuckyBadger - Sep 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    What is funny is that I have a friend who still tells me that trading Holliday was a mistake. I think he just afraid to admit he is wrong.

  19. BuckyBadger - Sep 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Ball really travels in Denver.

  20. diehardcubbiefan4life - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    CarGo is on my fantasy team ^.^

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