Cabrera wins batting title

Advertisement

NEW YORK — Miguel Cabrera became the first player in more than two decades to win three straight AL batting titles, and Michael Cuddyer brought the NL crown to mile-high Coors Field for the eighth time in 21 years.

Cabrera fell short of his 2012 season, when the Detroit third baseman became baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera hit a career-high .348 and finished well ahead of Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, who was second at .324.

“I still had a good season,” he said. “I have the same numbers I had last year, and we won the division.”

Cabrera’s 44 home runs were second to the 53 by Baltimore’s Chris Davis, and he finished second in RBIs, one behind Davis’ 138. Cabrera batted .330 last year with 44 homers and 139 RBIs.

Cabrera is the first right-handed batter in either league to win three straight batting titles since Rogers Hornsby’s six straight for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1920-25. Cabrera became just the fifth player to win three consecutive AL crowns, joining Nap Lajoie (1901-03), Ty Cobb (1907-09, 1911-15 and 1917-19), Rod Carew (1972-75) and Wade Boggs (1985-88).

Cuddyer also outdistanced the rest of his league with a .331 average, 10 points ahead of Atlanta’s Chris Johnson. Cuddyer had never hit higher than .284.

“It was nothing that I ever expected, and I really can’t wrap my head around it yet,” Cuddyer said. “It just goes to show that no matter what time you’re at in your career, something like this can happen if you continue to work hard.”

Andres Galarraga (1994), Larry Walker (1998, ‘99 and ‘01), Todd Helton (‘00), Matt Holliday (‘07) and Carlos Gonzalez (‘10) also won batting titles with the Rockies.

Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez and Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt tied for the NL home run lead with 36, giving the Pirates a share of the crown for the first time since Willie Stargell won it in 1973. The total was the fewest for either league leader since San Diego’s Fred McGriff won with 35 in 1992. Goldschmidt’s 125 RBIs topped the NL.

Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury stole 52 bases and led the AL for the third time. The New York Mets’ Eric Young Jr. swiped two bases Sunday and was first in the NL with 46. Young’s father led the NL in stolen bases with 53 for the Rockies in 1996.

“Now after it’s all said and done, it’s a great feeling that I was able to do it. Like I said, I’m glad we finished the season on a winning note,” said Young, acquired from Colorado in June. “I’m proud of myself. That’s my craft, stolen bases, and you always pride yourself in what your craft is.”

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the big leagues in ERA at 1.83, the lowest since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux was at 1.63 in 1995. Kershaw became the first pitcher to lead the majors three years in a row since Maddux from 1993-95.

“I try not to take that lightly,” Kershaw said. “It’s a huge honor.”

Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez led the AL for the first time at 2.57.

“I’m happy for the ERA title,” he said. “But it’s not about numbers. It’s about getting ready for the playoffs.”

Texas’ Yu Darvish topped the major leagues in strikeouts with 277, the most in the majors since Randy Johnson’s 290 for Arizona in 2004 and the highest AL total since Pedro Martinez fanned 284 for Boston in 2000. With 232, Kershaw led the NL for the second time in three seasons.

Pittsburgh finished at 94-68, ending its record streak of consecutive losing seasons at 20.

In its first AL season, Houston went 51-111 for the most defeats by a team since Arizona lost the same amount in 2004. The Astros lost their last 15 games, the lengthiest season-ending losing streak since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders dropped their last 16. Houston’s 324 losses over three years matched the 1917 Philadelphia Athletics for third most in major league history behind the 1962-64 New York Mets (340) and the 1963-65 Mets (332), according to STATS.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

4 free views left!