10/04/10 7:23 PM ET
A-Rod, Tulo take home Player of Month honors
By James Hall / MLB.com
Despite stumbling to the finish line, Rodriguez provided a bright spot for the Yankees down the final stretch run. The 35-year old led the AL in RBIs (26) and slugging percentage (.667), while tying for second with nine home runs.
Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, also reached base safely in 18 of 22 games played last month, propelling the Yankees to their 15th postseason berth in the last 16 years.
For the 14th time in his career, and the 13th consecutive season, Rodriguez reached the 30-home run, 100-RBI plateau to establish a new Major League record. Rodriguez passed Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx for the most career 100-RBI seasons all-time. He trails only Hank Aaron (15) for the most 30-home run seasons.
September marked the 10th time Rodriguez has received AL Player of the Month honors -- the last time being June 2007 -- which is the most of any active player. Second baseman Robinson Cano earned the award in April, marking the first year a pair of Yankees teammates have won since 2007.
While the Rockies made up nearly enough ground for a exciting finish, they fell just short of the NL Wild Card. Tulowitzki provided plenty of his own excitement in September, leading the Majors with 15 home runs, 40 RBIs, 30 runs scored and an incredible .800 slugging percentage.
The 25-year old's 15 home runs set a Rockies franchise record for most long balls in a single month. He also became only the second big leaguer since 1900 to hit 14 home runs in 15 games. The Long Beach State product delivered four multihomer performances on the month, and he drove in three or more runs in a single game on six occasions, including a career-high seven RBIs on Sept. 15 against the Padres.
Following his record-setting month, Tulowitzki -- a first time recipient of the award -- finished the season ranked first among Major League shortstops in home runs (27), RBIs (95), batting average (.315), slugging percentage (.568) and OPS (.949). Tulowitzki became the first player to lead all NL shortstops in both slugging percentage and fielding percentage (.984) since Jay Bell accomplished the feat in 1993 with the Pirates.
The runner-up for AL Player of the Month was Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, who batted .333 with six home runs, 25 RBIs and seven stolen bases. Tulowitzki's teammate, Carlos Gonzalez, (.393, five homers, 26 RBIs, five steals) and the Brewers' Ryan Braun (.323, six homers, 23 RBIs, 16 runs) received consideration in the NL.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.