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Tracking Races, Winners for Each 2013 MLB Triple Crown Category

Chris StephensCorrespondent IISeptember 28, 2013

Tracking Races, Winners for Each 2013 MLB Triple Crown Category

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Another MLB season has come and gone, and we have been left without a single Triple Crown winner.

    Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown last season and looked like he could repeat this year, but he fell short.

    While no one swept the Triple Crown categories, here's a breakdown of how every category was left looking at the end of the season.

     

    Note: All stats used are from Baseball-reference.com.

AL Batting Average

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
    1. Miguel CabreraTigers.348
    2. Joe MauerTwins.324
    3. Mike TroutAngels.323
    4. Adrian BeltreRangers.316
    5. Robinson CanoYankees.314

    Quick, can anyone remember the last time Cabrera didn't lead the AL in batting average? If you're like me, you had to look it up and see that he's led that category the last three years.

    Cabrera has been batting over .300 since a 4-for-4 day against the Yankees April 6.

    He won this category by a mile and he continually shows he is the best pure hitter in baseball.

    The race between Mauer and Trout for second came down to the final day, however, and Mauer was left with a one-point edge.

AL Home Runs

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    1. Chris DavisOrioles53
    2. Miguel CabreraTigers44
    3. Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays36
    T4. Mark TrumboAngels34
    T4. Adam DunnWhite Sox34

    At the end of August, Cabrera was gaining on Davis (47-43) and many thought he would overtake the Orioles' first baseman to win this category.

    However, Davis held on, belting six more home runs, while Cabrera only hit one since Aug. 26.

    The loss in this category guaranteed Cabrera would not win a second-straight Triple Crown.

    For Davis, two seasons in a row of 30-plus home runs show his power is here to stay.

AL Runs Batted In

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images
    1. Chris DavisOrioles138
    2. Miguel CabreraTigers137
    3. Adam JonesOrioles108
    4. Robinson CanoYankees107
    5. Prince FielderTigers106

    After Cabrera was given the final day of the season off, he finished one RBI behind Davis. Davis came from behind to pass Cabrera in a race that only could have been won by one of the two.

    Davis ended up winning more Triple Crown categories than Miggy, but we'll be left wondering what would have happened if he had played against the Marlins on the last day.

    The top five was rounded out by Jones, Cano and Fielder, who were among the eight AL batters to reach the 100-RBI plateau.

NL Batting Average

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    1. Michael CuddyerRockies.331
    2. Chris JohnsonBraves.321
    T3. Freddie FreemanBraves.319
    T3. Yadier MolinaCardinals.319
    5. Jayson Werth
    Nationals.318

    For the longest time, Johnson sat atop the standings in batting average, but then came Cuddyer.

    Having batted .453 in September, Cuddyer saw his average surge from .321 to .331. He did it thanks in large part to nine games where he got at least two hits.

    For Johnson, second base is not a bad place to finish considering he was the throw-in player in the Justin Upton deal. Atlanta feels like they really came out on top in that deal.

    The rest of the top five had a serious makeover on the final day of the season, and five players finished within two points of each other.

NL Home Runs

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    T1. Paul GoldschmidtDiamondbacks36
    T1. Pedro AlvarezPirates36
    3. Jay BruceReds30
    T4. Domonic BrownPhillies27
    T4. Justin UptonBraves 27
    T4. Hunter PenceGiants27

    This is the closest race in the NL with Goldschmidt leading late, but Alvarez's two home runs in the final three days of the season helped him tie Goldschmidt.

    No NL hitter was able to reach 40 home runs in 2013, marking just the second time since the turn of the century that that has happened (2011).

NL Runs Batted In

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    1. Paul GoldschmidtDiamondbacks125
    2. Jay BruceBraves109
    3. Freddie FreemanReds109
    4. Brandon PhillipsReds103
    T5. Adrian GonzalezDodgers100
    T5. Pedro AlvarezPirates100

    Goldschmidt wrapped up this category early in September, having dominated at the plate most of the year.

    He drove in 43 more runs this year compared to last year, leaving Arizona fans wondering what he can do next year.

    The real battle here came between Freeman and Bruce for second, but neither was able to create separation on the final day.

AL ERA

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    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
    1. Anibal Sanchez
    Tigers2.57
    2. Bartolo ColonAthletics2.65
    3. Hisashi IwakumaMariners2.66
    4. Yu DarvishRangers2.83
    5. Max ScherzerTigers2.90

    This battle was close, between Sanchez and Colon. In the end, Sanchez came out on top.

    Sanchez only gave up 52 earned runs all year, while throwing 182 innings.

AL Strikeouts

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    1. Yu DarvishRangers277
    2. Max ScherzerTigers240
    3. Chris SaleWhite Sox226
    4. Justin VerlanderTigers217
    5. Felix HernandezMariners216

    Darvish racked up another eight strikeouts on the final day of the season to win this category by a ridiculous 37 Ks.

    If he hadn't been on the DL this season he could have easily hit 300.

    Darvish's dominance in just his second season in the league could be a sign of things to come, and the Rangers are certainly hoping that he'll remain an ace for years to come.

AL Wins

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images
    1. Max ScherzerTigers21
    2. Bartolo ColonAthletics18
    3. C.J. WilsonAngels17
    T4. Matt MooreRays17
    T4. Chris TillmanOrioles16

    Scherzer earned the wins title this year, picking up his 21st win on Wednesday against the Twins.

    In a year when Justin Verlander wasn't at his best, Scherzer really came through for the Tigers, winning his first 13 decisions. 

    He did, however, show human-like tendencies when he lost two games in a row in September. 

NL ERA

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images
    1. Clayton KershawDodgers1.83
    2. Jose FernandezMarlins2.19
    3. Matt HarveyMets2.27
    4. Zack GreinkeDodgers2.63
    5. Madison BumgarnerGiants2.77

    Kershaw was simply dominant on the mound this year, having only let his ERA get above 2.00 in four games this year.

    He only gave up four or more earned runs three times, which tells you why his ERA has stayed so low this year.

NL Strikeouts

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images
    1. Clayton KershawDodgers232
    2. Cliff LeePhillies222
    3. Adam WainwrightCardinals219
    4. Jeff SamardzijaCubs214
    5. A.J. BurnettPirates209

    Kershaw added eight more strikeouts to his total in Friday's 11-0 win over the Rockies.

    He's been striking out guys left and right all year, including at least eight strikeouts 15 times.

    Wainwright failed to pull a Steve Nebraska in Saturday's game, and the strikeout title went to Kershaw.

NL Wins

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    Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
    T1. Jordan ZimmermannNationals19
    T1. Adam WainwrightCardinals19
    T3. Clayton KershawDodgers16
    T3. Jorge De La RosaRockies16
    T3. Francisco LirianoPirates16

    Zimmermann picked up a loss in his final start Wednesday.

    He had the best season of his career, setting career highs in just about every pitching category. He pitched in 213.1 innings, threw four complete games, two shutouts and garnered 161 strikeouts.

    And when the rest of the Washington pitching staff struggled through the early part of the season, it was Zimmermann who carried them, keeping his ERA below 3.00 until after the All-Star break.

    Wainwright ended up tying Zimmerman by picking up a win on Sunday, securing home-field advantage for the Cardinals in the NL playoffs.

    He will also likely be called upon to pitch one of the first two games of the NLDS, when the wins matter more than ever.

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