Curtis Granderson didn’t know he was one homer behind Miguel Cabrera when he asked for pinch-hitter
Over the last couple games of the season, the only real threat to Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown came in the home run category. Josh Hamilton was only one home run behind Cabrera, and Curtis Granderson nearly caught him. The Yankees slugger finished the season with 43 home runs — one behind Cabrera’s 44. Cabrera became the first Triple Crown winner since 1967 when the season ended Wednesday night, but did he get a little help from Granderson along the way?
With the Yankees blowing out the Red Sox and on their way to clinching the AL East title, Granderson asked manager Joe Girardi if rookie Melky Mesa could pinch-hit for him in the seventh inning. He had already homered twice in the game.
“It’s funny, because (Wednesday afternoon) I had pre-taped a video to congratulate Miguel (on winning the Triple Crown),” Granderson said after the game according to Eye on Baseball.
When Granderson was removed from the game, C.C. Sabathia asked him about being one homer behind Cabrera. Sabathia and Granderson both insist Curtis legitimately was unaware of that and was simply trying to give a rookie an at-bat. When asked what would have happened if he did come to the plate, Granderson had the following to say.
“What would have happened?” he asked reporters. “How would it have been perceived? That would have been a weird moment for me.”
The important thing to note is that even if Cabrera and Granderson tied for the AL lead with 44 homers, Cabrera still would have won the Triple Crown. Granderson would have had to surpass his home run total to prevent him from accomplishing the feat, and it’s unlikely he would have gotten up again after the seventh let alone homered both times. If the Yankees center fielder did know, he will never say. But I wouldn’t blame him for stepping aside and making sure Cabrera was the clear-cut Triple Crown winner even if he did.