Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve on Track to do Something we Haven’t Seen Since 2004
With about two months of play to go, the National League and American League playoff races are just starting to get interesting. However, the batting races appear to be all but finished thanks to the raking Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve have done all season.
Entering action on Friday, each second baseman has a stranglehold on their respective league’s leaderboard when ranked by batting average. What’s so special about this? Well, I was looking through the box scores this week and kept thinking to myself, “God, these guys are still hitting close to .360? In August? When was the last time the batting champ in both leagues finished with an average over .350?”
As it turns out, this particular scenario isn’t as common as it used to be. Between 1990 and 2004, it happened eight different times.
A handful of batting champs have come close to reaching this benchmark since 2004, but haven’t quite gotten there. Is this .350 benchmark rather arbitrary? Probably, but oh well. This gets more interesting upon seeing the similarities between Murphy and Altuve, both with regard to the season they’re enjoying and the current situation they find themselves in. Here are four that stood out: