If Miggy powers up, Triple Crown will be his again
DETROIT -- The path for another Triple Crown for Miguel Cabrera appears to finally be clearing. If he can have another power-hitting September like he did last year, he could well run away with it.
Repeating that September, however, isn't exactly automatic.
Cabrera's 7-for-13, two-homer, five-RBI series against the Mets pushed his average back to .360, 30 points ahead of his nearest American League competitor in the batting race, Mike Trout, entering Monday. He also moved 10 RBIs up on Chris Davis for the AL lead (128). The only category left is home runs, and Cabrera (43) moved within three of Davis after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning on Monday.
Even if the season ended today, his stats would be historic. Just 14 other times in Major League history has a player batted at least .360 with 40 homers and 120 RBIs, Todd Helton being the last to do so with the 2000 Rockies. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Cabrera is just the fifth player -- and the first since Lou Gehrig in 1934 -- to bat .360 with 42 homers and 128 RBIs through his team's first 130 games. Gehrig and Babe Ruth both did it twice.
Cabrera is obliterating many of the numbers that won him a Triple Crown last year, and his final month was arguably his strongest power month that season with 11 homers after Sept. 1. That year, though, was outside his norm; his .308 average, .390 on-base percentage, .535 slugging percentage and .925 OPS for his career in September and October are his lowest of any month.
That said, Cabrera has a career trend that works in his favor. His 27 homers in 62 road games this year dwarf his home totals of 15 homers in 60 games. By contrast, Cabrera hit 28 home runs at Comerica Park last year, compared with 16 on the road. His home/road totals are virtually even over his previous four seasons in Detroit.
The Tigers play 17 of their final 32 games at home, starting with Monday's series opener against the A's.