An inning after the Washington Nationals coughed up a lead to the Oakland Athletics, Ryan Zimmerman took matters into his own hands by crushing a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give his team a 6-3 lead.
The home run – his second of three hits in the game – was Zimmerman’s 16th long ball of the season, which raised his batting average to .374 in the process. While he’s tied for the home-run lead, no one is really close to him in terms of batting average. Teammate Daniel Murphy and Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Kemp are next in line with batting averages of .337 and .335, respectively.
The three RBIs puts Zimmerman’s season total up to 48, while leapfrogging the Colorado Rockies‘ Charlie Blackmon and Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Jake Lamb in that category. If the season ended right now, Zimmerman would be leading or tied for the lead in all three National League Triple Crown categories.
The last Triple Crown winner was Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who accomplished the feat for the American League in 2012. Cabrera was the first to reach Triple Crown status since Carl Yastrzemski did it with the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
It’s been just a tad longer since the last National League had its own Triple Crown winner, with St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Joe Medwick claiming it in 1937 with 31 home runs, 154 RBIs, and a .374 batting average.
New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle was the last to win the Major League Triple Crown in 1956. The three since have all been league specific.
It’s still early, but Zimmerman’s resurgence has been impressive and putting the Triple Crown cherry on top would further punctuate how amazing his turnaround season truly is.