Lance Berkman: Quest for the Triple Crown.
The year is 2008. The Date? May 15.
The Astros and Giants are deadlocked in a 7-7 tie in the top of the ninth. Lance Berkman steps to the plate 1 for 3 with two RBI on the day already. Berkman drove in the go-ahead run and what would be the winning run over the wall in right field and into the bay.
This has become commonplace for Berkman this year, as he currently leads the NL with 16 home runs, is in first place in RBI with 44, and is in second place with a ridiculous batting average of .399!
It's easy to see how he's got a great chance of winning the Triple Crown this season, being the first in 71 years to do it. The last person to achive this in the National League was Joe Medwick, who did it with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937.
Berkman's game-winning blast in San Francisco was only the 16th non-Giant homer to land in McCovey Cove and the first by a Houston Astro. "What a distinction," Berkman said sarcastically. "What an honor. That's the most important thing, clearly."
Obviously, the most important thing is that the Astros won again, leaving them only 2.5 games out of first place in the National League Central.
While it's early for anybody to be division watching just yet, I'm sure Houston fans will be watching the division all year, especially since the Astros play in the same division as the Cubs and the Cardinals.
With all of that said, Lance Berkman has a big problem.
There's Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves and his somehow even more ridiculous batting average of .412. Chipper Jones said recently he's seeing and hitting the ball so well because he's a smarter hitter 18 years, five All Star-Games and 333 postseason at bats later.
You could say that is odd because most players his age have started to decline or have entered retirement. Chipper has only gotten better as a hitter.
So, what's a guy like Lance Berkman to do about a guy who is defying reality and batting .412?
I think there's only one thing he can do. He has to keep up his hot hitting and hope Chipper's age catches up with him at some point or another.
So realistically, does Lance have a shot at the Triple Crown?
Crazier things have happened so far this year. The Tampa Bay Rays are seven games over .500 and leading the American League East. The Detroit Tigers have one of the best lineups on paper, but the worst record in the majors.
And America's Baseball Team, the Yankees, are enjoying a lovely stay in the basement of the American League East and don't seem like they're in a rush to get out.
To be honest, I wouldn't put the Triple Crown past Berkman.
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