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There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2010

Sep 13, 2010, 8:23 AM EDT

It was fun while it lasted, but the 2010 season will close, once again, with no triple crown winner.

After last night’s two-homer affair down in Atlanta by Albert Pujols, the NL home run leader board looks like this:

Albert Pujols: 39
Adam Dunn: 34
Joey Votto: 33
Carlos Gonzalez/Mark Reynolds 32

The NL batting average leader board looks like this:

Carlos Gonzalez: .337
Troy Tulowitzki: .323
Joey Votto: .320
Martin Prado: .315
Starlin Castro: .312
Albert Pujols: .309

Baseball is amazing and everything, but it’s not so amazing that either (a) Joey Votto is going to out-homer Pujols by six in the last three weeks of the season and make up 17 points in average on Gonzalez; (b) that Gonzalez is going to out-homer Votto, Dunn and Pujols down the stretch; or (c) that Pujols is going to make up around 30 points in average.

It was fun while it lasted, but the 2010 season will close, once again, with no triple crown winner.

  1. CM_Wang - Sep 13, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Does Halladay have a shot at the pitching 3C? Maybe a long shot, but it’s possible, right? If he makes all his starts and …. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  2. okobojicat - Sep 13, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    So, the better question is that has the last insane month of Gonzalez put him in the lead for the MVP? Has he done enough to take it away from Votto? I think he has.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 13, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Ryan Howard, the eventual RBI champion, is not hitting for a high enough average to win the Triple Crown. Besides, he missed 3 weeks, so he also won’t have enough home runs either. When will you guys learn that when September rolls around, there is not a better run producer in the game than #6? The guy has a 1.111 OPS in the month of September. That isn’t by accident. Dude is rock-solid money down the stretch.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 13, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    If it’s not by accident then why doesn’t he do it all year? Or does he just choose not to be awesome in the other months?

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 13, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Don’t know what makes the guy tick. I just know that he’s a monster in September, and the numbers prove it.

  6. Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Do the words “random variation” mean anything to you? He has roughly one season’s worth of PA in September. Funny things can happen over the course of a season, especially if you chop it up into segments like that. There was a three or four year stretch where Cano was just god-awful with RISP, and the New York Mediots were blathering about how he couldn’t hit in the clutch. That, of course, was a load of mularky, as Cano hits just fine with men on base now, but weird things like that can happen.
    Look, it is possible that Howard does something that intrinsically makes him better in September, but 700 PA *don’t* prove he’s got a stash of magic pixie dust.

  7. CJ - Sep 13, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    700 PAs is a little much for the random variation bit. If he only had 300 in september, you might convince me. But 700 is more than a season’s worth of total ABs.
    That *do* prove the man is clutch.
    Your argument Re: Cano seems invalid to me for the same reason. I doubt he had 700 ABs with RISP when those things were being said. Now that he has a bigger sampling, we can see that yes, that whole hypothesis was “a load of mularky”.
    I’d set the Mendoza line for things like this at the same number of ABs that’s required for the batting title: 502. If Cano had more than 502 ABs with RISP while still gawdawful, then I’ll take the whole thing back and agree with you lol

  8. Cougar Hunter - Sep 13, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Until you look at Cargo’s road splits, which are atrocious, and realize that he’s nothing more than a product of the field he plays 81 games in.

  9. matt - Sep 13, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    As far as someone not getting the triple crown, the same player came to my mind. Ryan Howard. He’ll have the RBI lead easily by the end of the year. He slumps so bad many parts of the year but somehow manages every year to drive in tons of runs late in the year. I don’t get it either.

  10. Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Actually, he had 732 PA with RISP from ’06-’09, each season in which he underperformed his overall line in those situations. Further, the amount of PA we need to show something is true depends on the strength of the prior and the presence of non-statistical factors that would serve as further evidence. For example, platoon splits for left-handed hitters are a well-documented phenomena, so we need relatively fewer PA to begin establishing the degree of “true” split for any given hitter. Being a better hitter in September is a phenomena that is statistically unproven (there may have been a study disproving it, but since I know of no such study we’ll simply go with “inconclusive”). Therefore, Ryan Howard needs a lot more PA to *prove* that he’s a better hitter in September than in other months. With Mark Teixeira, there is a weak factor that could explain his slow starts, as he claims it takes longer for him to get his swings in sync from both sides of the plate (I say weak because not all switch hitters are affected this way, but it’s still plausible). Without some sort of reason to believe that Howard gets affected by September differently than any other player, however, we’d need more PA to believe in his “September boost.”

  11. nps6724 - Sep 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Omar Infante will make sure there isn’t a Triple Crown.

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 13, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Kevin, at the risk of being called an a-hole by you once again, I will comment on your post and respectfully disagree. He has played just about 5 1/2 seasons, and has over 700 PAs in September. You can say you need more proof…how many more PAs? Another 5 1/2 season’s worth? Maybe after 11 years in the league, if he has 1500 PAs and an OPS of 170 points higher than his career? Would that be good enough? Seems a bit extreme if you ask me.
    And let me say that being so good in September isn’t all that great. Like Craig implies…why can’t he be this good all year long? I know he struggles in April because he admits he just doesn’t like the cold. But why can’t he hit 1.111 in May…June…July…August when it is hotter? Like I said…I don’t know what makes the guy tick. But after 5 1/2 years, in my opinion, I think there is more than enough evidence to conclude that Ryan Howard is a far better player in September than he is in April-August. Make of that what you want.

  13. Ryne - Sep 13, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Nothing more than a product of his field is a gross overstatement. Even if you think his stats are highly inflated by Coors, he is still a very good young player, if not an MVP caliber one.

  14. Bill@TDS - Sep 14, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Not even close.

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