Miguel Cabrera: Breaking Down Updated Triple Crown Hopes After Hitless Day

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 30, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts to striking out against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera is just days away from winning the American League Triple Crown, but he can't afford too many more games like the one he had against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. 

Ahh, the hardships of greatness. 

Cabrera, much like rest of the Tigers, was held hitless against Liam Hendricks and the Twinkies, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Let's take a look at where he now stands in his quest for the Triple Crown. 


Batting Average

Cabrera is still in good shape here, but he couldn't have felt too comfortable watching Joe Mauer rack up three hits in front of him, subsequently raising his average to .323 while Cabrera's dropped to .325.

The only other real threat to Miggy is Mike Trout, but after going 0-for-3 in the second game of Los Angeles' double-header on Sunday, the rookie saw his average fall to .321. Considering he has to go up against Felix Hernandez on Monday, Trout's hopes of winning the batting crown are slim at best. 

Cabrera vs. Mauer. It's on. 


Home Runs

This is where things get dicey.

Cabrera is currently tied for first with Josh Hamilton, who went homer-less during Sunday's double-header and sits at 43 long balls. But he also has to hold off Edwin Encarnacion (42), Adam Dunn (41) and maybe even Curtis Granderson (40) if he gets hot.

Fortunately for Cabrera, Hamilton leaves hitter-friendly Arlington to face Oakland's talented pitching staff, while he and Edwin Encarnacion both have some favorable matchups remaining on the schedule. 

That should be enough to propel him over Hamilton and keep him ahead of Encarnacion, but it will be dangerously close. 



Unless Josh Hamilton turns into The Hulk—and believe me, it's possible—Cabrera has this category locked up. He currently sits at 136 ribbies, while Hamilton "only" has 125. 

This is the only category Cabrera won't have to sweat out, and considering there are only three games left in the season, that just goes to show that you need to truly put together a complete season to accomplish this rare feat.