Tracking Races, Winners for Each 2013 MLB Triple Crown Category
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
|1. Miguel Cabrera||Tigers||.348|
|2. Joe Mauer||Twins||.324|
|3. Mike Trout||Angels||.323|
|4. Adrian Beltre||Rangers||.316|
|5. Robinson Cano||Yankees||.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
|1. Chris Davis||Orioles||53|
|2. Miguel Cabrera||Tigers||44|
|3. Edwin Encarnacion||Blue Jays||36|
|T4. Mark Trumbo||Angels||34|
|T4. Adam Dunn||White Sox||34|
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
|1. Chris Davis||Orioles||138|
|2. Miguel Cabrera||Tigers||137|
|3. Adam Jones||Orioles||108|
|4. Robinson Cano||Yankees||107|
|5. Prince Fielder||Tigers||106|
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
|1. Michael Cuddyer||Rockies||.331|
|2. Chris Johnson||Braves||.321|
|T3. Freddie Freeman||Braves||.319|
|T3. Yadier Molina||Cardinals||.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
|T1. Paul Goldschmidt||Diamondbacks||36|
|T1. Pedro Alvarez||Pirates||36|
|3. Jay Bruce||Reds||30|
|T4. Domonic Brown||Phillies||27|
|T4. Justin Upton||Braves||27|
|T4. Hunter Pence||Giants||27|
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
|1. Paul Goldschmidt||Diamondbacks||125|
|2. Jay Bruce||Braves||109|
|3. Freddie Freeman||Reds||109|
|4. Brandon Phillips||Reds||103|
|T5. Adrian Gonzalez||Dodgers||100|
|T5. Pedro Alvarez||Pirates||100|
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.
|1. Anibal Sanchez||Tigers||2.57|
|2. Bartolo Colon||Athletics||2.65|
|3. Hisashi Iwakuma||Mariners||2.66|
|4. Yu Darvish||Rangers||2.83|
|5. Max Scherzer||Tigers||2.90|
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.
|1. Yu Darvish||Rangers||277|
|2. Max Scherzer||Tigers||240|
|3. Chris Sale||White Sox||226|
|4. Justin Verlander||Tigers||217|
|5. Felix Hernandez||Mariners||216|
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.
|1. Max Scherzer||Tigers||21|
|2. Bartolo Colon||Athletics||18|
|3. C.J. Wilson||Angels||17|
|T4. Matt Moore||Rays||17|
|T4. Chris Tillman||Orioles||16|
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.
|1. Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||1.83|
|2. Jose Fernandez||Marlins||2.19|
|3. Matt Harvey||Mets||2.27|
|4. Zack Greinke||Dodgers||2.63|
|5. Madison Bumgarner||Giants||2.77|
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.
|1. Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||232|
|2. Cliff Lee||Phillies||222|
|3. Adam Wainwright||Cardinals||219|
|4. Jeff Samardzija||Cubs||214|
|5. A.J. Burnett||Pirates||209|
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.
|T1. Jordan Zimmermann||Nationals||19|
|T1. Adam Wainwright||Cardinals||19|
|T3. Clayton Kershaw||Dodgers||16|
|T3. Jorge De La Rosa||Rockies||16|
|T3. Francisco Liriano||Pirates||16|
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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