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Here's why J.D. Martinez can kiss Triple Crown goodbye, despite great run at history

John Tomase
September 22, 2018 - 12:51 pm

J.D. Martinez made a hell of a run at the Triple Crown, but in the end, he will be undone not so much by teammate Mookie Betts, but the relentless slugging of Khris Davis in Oakland.

Davis blasted a pair of homers in Friday's victory over the Twins, including a walk-off shot to right-center that snuck out over the center field fence just to the left of the much taller fence at the 380-foot mark in right.

The two homers gave Davis 45 for the year and marked the third straight season in which he has topped 40 despite playing half his games in Oakland's cavernous Coliseum. He went for 42 in 2016 and and 43 last year.

Davis has blasted 17 homers since July 31, zooming past Martinez on the leaderboard. Martinez has hit nine bombs in that span, leaving him four behind Davis, at 41, with eight games to play.

To understand the challenge facing Martinez, it's important to note that the most home runs he has hit in any eight-game stretch this year is six, from May 13-20. However, with the Red Sox effectively entrenched as the No. 1 seed in baseball througout the postseason, there will be little incentive for Martinez to play in all eight of the remaining games. And even if he does, and even if he started blasting homers again, catching Davis would require the latter going cold at the time when he's roaring hot.

As things stand now, Martinez is hitting .330 with 41 homers and 124 RBIs. He's second to Betts (.339) in the batting race, second to Davis in homers, and first in RBIs, with Davis just five behind him and closing fast.

So while was a good run, it looks like the Triple Crown chase is over for Martinez.