Argument 2: Cabrera was better in August and September.
Three things this time. First is, yes, Cabrera was better than Trout offensively those two months. He hit .344/.411/.670 to Troutís .287/.383/.500. Thatís better. Trout did score more runs, however. He stole 18 bases to Cabreraís 0. He was still the much, much better defensive player. Was Miguel Cabrera really the better PLAYER the last two months of the season, or just the better hitter? I mean, if the MVP is only about who hits the ball in August and September, well, Prince Fielderís .337/.453/.607 should have put him pretty close to Cabrera's level as an MVP candidate.
Which leads to the second thing: Isnít it interesting that Fielder and Cabrera both went cuckoo at the plate the last two months of the season. I wonder why. Maybe itís because they are both extraordinary pressure hitters who rise to the occasion when it matters most, when backs are against walls, when time is up, when chips are down, when fat ladies sing. Maybe itís because they have some sort of inner strength that others lack, some sort of clutch hitter gene that triggers when the team needs them the most.
Or -- and Iím just spitballing here -- part of it could be that the Tigers played Cleveland (last in league in ERA), Minnesota (second-last in league in ERA) and Kansas City (11th in league in ERA) 28 times in the last two months. I suppose that is at least possible. Meanwhile Trout played Oakland (2nd in ERA) and Seattle (third in ERA) 21 times, just those two teams.
Look, itís never as simple as saying that ballpark factors or strength of schedule or anything like that makes all the difference. They don't make all the difference. Cabrera hit good pitchers and bad all year -- the guy's a masher. But it seems impossible to me that people would divvy up the season like that -- making games after August 1 sacrosanct -- without taking that little tidbit into consideration.
And thereís the third thing. Take a look at July:
Mike Trout: .392/.455/.804 Miguel Cabrera: .344/.409/.677
Do you see it? Yep: Miguel Cabrera was almost exactly the same in July as he was in August and September. Seems he didnít just turn it on August 1st because the team needed him. Heís just a really good hitter. Meanwhile Trout was otherworldly.
And ... wait a minute: It looks like they played baseball in June too:
Trout: .372/..419/.531 Caberra: .311/.387.604
Hmm. And wait, whatís this? They played baseball in May too?
Trout: .324/.385/.556 Cabrera: .331/.371/.468
Itís fun to parse the baseball season into nice, bite-sized chunks to make a point. You know from Sept. 25 to October 3 -- the last nine games of the season! The crunchiest of crunch times -- Mike Trout thoroughly outhit Cabrera
Trout: .361/.465/.694 Cabrera: .313/.353/.500
And do you know what that means? Nothing. It's the MVP. Whole season.