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Miguel Cabrera homers twice to reach 40 for the first time

Sep 18, 2012, 10:17 PM EDT

Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera hit a pair of homers, including the Tigers’ first grand slam of the year, in Tuesday’s win over the A’s to get to 40 for the first time in his career.

Cabrera also collected his 38th double. He was removed after his slam off Jesse Chavez made it a 12-2 game in the bottom of the eighth.

The two-homer game is just what Cabrera needed to enter the final two weeks with a serious chance at the game’s first Triple Crown since 1967. He leads the AL with a .333 average, and he broke his tie with Josh Hamilton atop the RBI standings tonight. His 40 homers are tied with Edwin Encarnacion for second place, two behind Hamilton.

If Cabrera can win the Triple Crown, it’d probably lock up his first MVP award, even if the Tigers can’t make their way into the postseason. Advanced stats would still give Mike Trout a significant edge, but it’d be hard to sway the voters in the event of a single player leading the league in average, homers and RBI for the first time in 45 years.

  1. dondada10 - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Even with diminished importance placed on “counting stats” such as batting average and RBI, it would still be damn cool to see somebody win a Triple Crown.

    I’ve never seen that.

  2. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    if he can pull it off, i think that deserves an MVP title. on a side note, i think your qualifier that the tigers may not go to the post-season rings a bit hollow when the angels and mike trout are in that same sinking boat. i’m not being a homer when i say i am rooting for cabrera to pull it off!

    • ajcardsfan - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      If he pulls it off, I’m flipping a coin for who gets MVP. Both him and Trout are equally deserving, think we could convince them to share?

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I doubt that he has to win the Triple Crown to win the MVP title. He just has to be very close in all 3 categories. As far as the slam off Chavez is concerned, I do wonder what Oakland was thinking when they claimed Chavez off waivers from Toronto. The Jays had called up Chavez in the middle of the season when they lost 3 starting pitchers to injury. He was given enough opportunities by the Jays to show that he belonged in the majors and he demonstrated that he was not a major league pitcher.

  4. skeleteeth - Sep 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    2012 AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS

    Bases Empty 290 93 18 0 23 23 31 47 0 0 .321 .388 .621 1.009
    Runners On 273 93 19 0 15 100 29 41 4 1 .341 .401 .575 .976
    RISP 161 58 12 0 7 79 19 23 1 0 .360 .419 .565 .985
    RISP 2 Outs 45 21 3 0 4 29 6 6 0 0 .467 .529 .800 1.329
    Bases Full 8 1 0 0 0 7 1 0 0 0 .125 .167 .125 .292

    Minus sacks packed (which doesn’t include the GS tonight), this guys is a beast. It’s like he just simply subtracts power and gets even more lethal with contact and zone knowledge. Very impressive.

  5. Kevin Gillman - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    My own personal opinion is sportswriters should never select who wins the MVP, because there is always an agenda, it’s never about “Who had the BEST season”. An example is in 1995, Albert Belle was the only hitter in MLB that hit 40 HRs, and 40 Doubles, plus he hit over .300, on an Indians team that won 100 games in just 144 games. Yet, he didn’t win the MVP.

    So who is having the BEST season? I have to believe it’s either Hamilton or Miggy. But I will go with Miggy, because he has more RBIs, and is hitting 44 points higher than Josh.

    Having said that though, it wouldn’t surprise me if Trout does win, because writers are infatuated with the kid, he can truly do no wrong. He has put up big numbers, but let him grow into a MLB player. The Angels still have Albert to rely on, where as the Tigers and Rangers wouldn’t be where they are at, if it wasn’t for Miggy and Josh. I hope I am wrong though, but I think Trout wins.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      “But let him grow into a MLB player.”

      If Trout has been the best player in baseball, what’s the need to wait?

      “The Angels still have Albert to rely on, where as the Tigers and Rangers wouldn’t be where they are at If it wasn’t for Miggy and Josh.”

      Austin Jackson has been Pujols’ equal (or better) this year, to say nothing of Justin Verlander or Prince Fielder. Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton hasn’t even been the best player on his own team, Adrian Beltre has. Including teammates is a silly MVP discussion tactic anyway, and it doesn’t even make the point you want it to in this case.

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in baseball, period. He has had years of consistency, driving in runs, hitting over .300, and finally has 40 HRs to his list. You SERIOUSLY think Trout deserves that award over Miggy? If you’re an Angels fan, I understand, but come on. Mike also hits lead off, where Miggy is in that middle of the lineup, and I personally would rather face Prince than Cabrera, if I was a pitcher, because at least Prince has a hole, a small one mind you, but you can strike him out. Cabrera nine times out of ten will get you, even if it’s not a HR, it’s a big double driving in the tying run.

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:46 PM

        Kevin, what do Cabrera’s years of consistency have to do with this year’s MVP vote?

        I would rather face Prince Fielder than Cabrera too, but again, what does that have to d with Cabrera’s case against Trout?

        I would agree that Fielder is the best hitter in baseball. Yet Trout has been almost entirely his equal there. Meanwhile, Trout has done much more damage as a runner, giving him an overall offensive edge. The only way to even have them close is to ignore defense, where Cabrera has been passable at best, problematic at worst, while Trout has been one of the very best fielders in all of baseball.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      My own personal opinion is sportswriters should never select who wins the MVP, because there is always an agenda, it’s never about “Who had the BEST season”.

      Ok, so then how should we judge viable MVP candidates?

      So who is having the BEST season? I have to believe it’s either Hamilton or Miggy. But I will go with Miggy, because he has more RBIs, and is hitting 44 points higher than Josh.

      RBI and BA? Is this the 1980s? Does defense not count? What about base running?

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:30 PM

        Either baseball players or baseball managers should vote, because they are actually a part of the game, and does not hold grudges against players, like the media does. And the MVP is an offensive stat. Always has been, unless a pitcher is rewarded it, like last season. Otherwise it’s never about base running, and it’s never about defense. Still is.

  6. papacrick - Sep 19, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Cabrera leads everybody in batting average, RBI, slugging, and OPS.  He is the best player in the 7th inning or later. Hits a ridiculous .465 with two outs and RISP. No question who is MVP this year and it’s not even close. Since when has this award included defense because I can’t remember anyone winning it with their glove.  They have a different award for that

    • ptfu - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      They have other awards for best hitter, too. Check out the Silver Slugger and Hank Aaron awards.

      This award says it’s for most valuable PLAYER, not hitter or defender or intangibles leader (sorry Michael Young) or awesomeness leader (sorry Jeff Francouer). So how about let’s give it to whoever was most valuable overall for everything?

      IMHO Trout should be the MVP. His exceptional defense and baserunning (Miggy sucks at both) make up for Trout having fewer extra base hits. I don’t put much stock in RBIs because they’re a team accomplishment as much as an individual one.

      That said, I think Trout’s biggest weakness is in games played–not Miggy doing well in 45 PAs with two outs and RISP or whatever other cherry-picked scenario you can come up with. Most valuable PLAYER, remember? which implies you have to actually play, and Trout barely did that in April, and now has played ~20 fewer games than the other MVP candidates. That, and the historical weight behind (nearly?) winning the Triple Crown, could give the MVP to Miggy, and I can live with this.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      “No question who is MVP this year and it’s not even close.”

      You’re right. Mike Trout is the MVP and it *isn’t* close.

      That’s what you were getting at right? I only read the one sentence.

  7. mungman69 - Sep 19, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    I think that the MVP should be on a team that makes the playoffs. Beltre!

  8. scapistron - Sep 19, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    didn’t Williams win the triple crown, but still lose out on the MVP?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      Yes, in ’42 and ’47.

  9. flyerscup2010 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    flyerscup2010

  10. flyerscup2010 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    i think i just posted my user name as a comment. dumb

    trout probably won’t be too broken up if cabrera wins the mvp this year, knowing in the back of his mind he probably has the next 15 or so on lock

    • anythingbutyanks - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Or he could get hit in the face by a wild pitch and his career could be over. No one is guaranteed 15 more years or even one, so if he is the most deserving player this year (and his advanced stats say he is the most valuable), then he should win it this year.

      • mustbechris - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:08 PM

        not talking about deserving, just saying he probably won’t take it too personally. dude’s like 20, which is still the invincibility stage of life

  11. papacrick - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    The trout lovers are grasping at anything now to crown him. A month ago he was the MVP because he had the best slugging and ops. Now all of the sudden these stats don’t mean anything because he was left in the dust by Miggy. Now the Trout lovers are hanging onto stolen bases and home run saving catches as the most valuable contribution since that is the only significant category Trout is leading.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      Trout is the MVP today for the same reason he was the MVP a month ago: He’s been the best player in baseball.

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