What appeared a few weeks ago as a two-man race for a potential Triple Crown has now become a three-man competition.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has been hitting the ball like he was mad at it lately. He is now comfortably ahead of Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds in batting average with a .340 mark. Votto is batting .321.
In his last nine games Gonzalez has had three hits in six of them, and is in the midst of a 14 game hitting streak. During those nine games he is batting a cool .553/.571/1.053 with 4 HR and 11 RBI while scoring nine runs.
Gonzalez is also first in H, SLG and second to Votto in OPS.
St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols is fading fast from the batting title scene. In his last seven games Pujols is hitting a miserable .087/.179/.130 going 2-28, setting his own personal streak of hitless AB. During that span he has dropped his average from .320 to .309. He has 0 HR and only 2 RBI with three runs scored.
He still leads the league in homers with 35, leading Washington National’s Adam Dunn by one. Votto is three off the pace and Gonzalez is four back. He is also setting the pace in runs scored with 95.
Votto leads the league in RBI with 98, while Pujols and Gonzalez are both tied for second with 97.
In his last five games Votto is batting a paltry .176/.364/.294 with only 3 H in his last 28 AB. During that span he has 0 HR and 1 RBI with two runs scored.
So at this juncture Gonzalez is red-hot. The other two are as cold as a couple of mackerels.
If the season ended today we would have a different winner in all three Triple Crown categories. In fact, I will go out on the proverbial limb and predict that it will end that way as well.
It looks like Gonzalez is going to walk away with the batting crown, regardless of what Atlanta’s Omar Infante does.
Pujols will probably win the HR crown and I think Votto will probably lead the league in RBI.
As many people wonder who will win the Triple Crown, I for one say that nobody will this year (in the National League). Ducky Medwick of the Cardinals was the last TC winner in the Senior Circuit in 1937.
He won it that year by hitting .374, with 31 HR and 154 RBI. Nobody has won it in that league for 72 years and it looks as though it will be stretched to 73.
In contrast the American League has had five Triple Crown winners in that stretch, with the last one being Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox in 1967.
In summation any of the three could still win it, but in my opinion nobody will.