November 20, Phoenix – Much has been written from coast to coast about the NL MVP. It is a great debate as we hoped it would be as the season wrapped up. I was one in September almost nightly saying that Howard should win the award as it felt like each night he homered and each of those homers lifted Philly to victory. He had an incredible final month.
So let’s talk months. Just for kicks, here are the season numbers for both Albert Pujols and Howard, month by month. Added to the chart is runners in scoring position and stats within their respective divisions. The first is batting average, then on base percentage and slugging percentage.
There are 24 total chances for each player to better one another statisically. Pujols does so 21 of the 24 times, leaving three for Howard. Ryan deserves a great deal of extra credit for for his team’s 17 wins in September, but Albert certainly needs at least a pat on the back for the Cardinals 18 victories in April, when little was expected of them in 2008.
The last few weeks meant everything to Philly, while the Cards certainly faded from the the Wild Card race. Does that mean that pitchers eased up on Albert? Or that he would not have had the same level of success if St Louis had been in it until the final Sunday? It is safe to assume that both hitters got the very best out of opposing pitchers every single at bat.
It is what makes baseball great, these great debates. Much like Holliday v. Rollins or Tulowitzki v. Braun (ROY) a season ago.
See you soon.