Tulo leading push, setting records this month
Shortstop has 15 homers and 40 RBIs in September
DENVER -- Sunday was another opportunity for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitkzi, the Sultan of September.
Despite going 0-for-4 in a 4-2 loss to the Giants on Sunday, Tulowitzki has put himself at the top or near the top of several statistical categories for torrid performances during the season's final full month.
With 40 RBIs, Tulowitzki has four games before the end of the month to surpass Babe Ruth's all-time record of 43 in 1927, a real good year for the Yankees. Tulowitzki's 15 homers this month are also two behind the record for September, shared by The Babe in '27 and the Indians' Albert Belle in 1995.
Tulowitzki is one of six players to hit 15 or more homers in September. It has been accomplished eight times. Hank Greenberg (1946) and Ralph Kiner (1949) hit 16. Greenberg (1940) and Mark McGwire (1997 and 1998) knocked 15.
Tulowitkzi's performance is among the most meaningful in September of all time. Of those with 15 or more homers in September, only Greenberg in 1940 -- when the Tigers won the American League pennant by one game over the Indians -- played for a team in a tight race.
The famous '27 Yankees, who swept the Pirates in the World Series, won the AL with a 19-game gap between them and the second-place Philadelphia Athletics, in 154-game season. Belle played for an Indians club that won the AL Central by a whopping 30 games over the second-place Royals in a 144-game season shortened by a labor dispute. Greenberg's Tigers finished 12 games out in '46, Kiner's Pirates finished in sixth place, and McGwire's Cardinals were well back in the playoff picture the two years he reached 15.
Tulowitzki is doing it for a team still facing long odds in pursuit of a playoff spot.
"That makes it more special, when you're coming down the stretch and you're producing for the team," he said. There's nothing better than that."
Saturday's 10-9 victory over the Giants broke a five-game losing streak, during which Tulowitzki proved even he can be human by going 2-for-19 with one RBI.
"It's baseball," he said. "You're going to have your bad days. I think the last three games I was struggling. It's only three games, but at the same time, I think had one hit and a few strikeouts. I had some situations where I came up and didn't make the most of them.
"The biggest difference between now and earlier in my career is failure doesn't really get to me. I know I'm a good player and you're going to have those days. I'm fine with it. I know I bring it to the field every single day, I work my butt off."