Miguel Cabrera is backing up baseball’s first Triple Crown season in 45 years with another great season
The Detroit Tigers third baseman, who won the American League Triple Crown Award in 2012 with a .330 average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, is baseball’s most dangerous hitter.
Cabrera has been on a hot streak recently, jumping to the top or near the top of every offensive leader board. And he’s on track for a run at another Triple Crown, which, if Cabrera wins it again, would be the first time in major league history that a player won consecutive Triple Crowns.
“I’ve never seen a guy that puts the bat head on the ball as regular as he does, and on all pitches,” Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s just a tremendous hitter.”
In six games from May 19-25, Cabrera hit .478 with 6 homers and 15 runs driven in. Through Monday, Cabrera led the majors with a .377 average and 57 RBIs. He was tied for second with 14 home runs; second with a .663 slugging percentage and second with a .454 on-base-percentage.
Cabrera is on pace to break Hack Wilson’s record of 191 RBIs in a single season, accomplished in 1930 with the Chicago Cubs. The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pounder could join Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams as the only players to win two Triple Crowns.
In an 11-8 loss at Texas on May 19, Cabrera went 4-for-4 with three homers and five runs knocked in. In a 17-2 win at Houston on May 4, he went 4-for-4, hitting three home runs with five RBIs.
“Miggy never ceases to amaze you,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the game against the Rangers.
The 30-year-old Cabrera’s power is immense. Each of his three homers against Texas went to center field, making Cabrera the fifth player to accomplish that since 2007, joining Josh Hamilton, Alex Rodriguez, Adam Dunn and Carlos Lee.
There seems to be only one thing can stop Cabrera now – the intentional walk.
Ump regrets bad call: In a game last Friday night in Seattle, umpire Jeff Nelson called the Mariners’ Jesus Sucre out on a relay from second to complete a double play by the Texas Rangers. The only problem was that Rangers pitcher Justin Grimm caught the ball while running to cover first base, and without his foot on the bag.
First baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to Elvis Andrus at second on Sucre’s grounder, was standing on the bag to receive the return throw that he never got.
“That play, your focus goes to the bag, and you watch the foot touch the bag and listen for the ball hitting the mit,” Nelson told a pool reporter before Saturday’s game. “In this case, I ruled the ball was caught by the first baseman, and the ball was actually caught by the pitcher. The pitcher kind of came out of nowhere on that play. I didn’t pick that up. Obviously, looking at the replays, I wish I had.”
Mariners manager Eric Wedge went out to argue that Moreland’s foot had come off the bag, and didn’t know that Grimm had made the catch. Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan also thought that Moreland caught the ball.
“That’s maybe one of those things that maybe someone is upstairs and they pick up the phone and appeal it really quick,” Ryan said, hinting at replay review of those types of plays in the future.
The play came in the second inning of the Rangers 9-5 win, ending a potential rally by the Mariners.
“I haven’t seen a play like this in 25 years,” Nelson said. “There’s never any consolation in a thing like this. We’re competitive, too, and we want to get things right. You’re angry just like everybody else that you ruled otherwise.”
StatsWatch: The Baltimore Orioles led the major leagues in home runs through Monday’s games with 69. Here are their top home run hitters:
- Chris Davis, 16 HR
- Adam Jones, 10
- J.J. Hardy, 9
- Matt Wieters, 7
- Manny Machado, 5
- Nick Markakis, 5
Quotable: “I’m a streaky kind of guy.” — Braves pitcher Mike Minor, who is 3-for-3 in his last three at-bats, including a two-run homer in Saturday’s 6-0 win over the Mets. Minor was 7-for-107 for an .067 career batting average before his streak.
Diamond Notes: An inside-the-park, two-run homer hit by San Francisco’s Angel Pagan in the bottom of the 10th inning on Saturday gave the Giants a 6-5 win over Colorado. The last time a walk-off, inside-the-park homer was hit in Giants’ franchise history came on Aug. 24, 1931, by Bill Terry against the Cubs. It was Pagan’s third inside-the-park home run in his career…Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson was put on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a broken left pinkie finger, suffered when he was hit by a pitch in Friday’s game against Tampa Bay. Granderson missed 38 games this season with a broken right forearm after getting hit by a pitch in spring training. He led the Yankees with 43 home runs last season…Milwaukee closer Jim Henderson in on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring. Henderson has nine saves with a 0.92 ERA this season.