Cabrera struggling, bruised, down stretch

Jason Beck / MLB.com

While the Tigers’ offensive struggles over the last three games aren’t a complete mystery, given Detroit’s troubles scoring runs off and on all season, the struggles of Miguel Cabrera are mysterious. Not only did he go 0-for-4 in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the White Sox, he didn’t get the ball out of the infield, including a double play to end the eighth inning after the Tigers scored their only run of the game.

Cabrera is now 0-for-11 since his first-inning single off Scott Baker Thursday, and the fact that the Tigers have scored four runs over that span isn’t a coincidence. He has had just two longer hitless streaks this season, and he talked after Friday’s game about needing to put his struggles behind him and focus on hitting Freddy Garcia.

FSN Detroit’s broadcast Saturday night showed Cabrera with bruising on the left side of his face. Cabrera was not around for comment after the game, and others were put in an awkward position when asked about it.

“I didn’t see it, to be honest with you,” manager Jim Leyland said.

Likewise, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said through a team spokesperson that he had not seen Cabrera.

As for the struggles at the plate, it’s also a mystery.

“I don’t know what’s going on there,” shortstop Adam Everett said. “I’m sure he’ll come out ready to play tomorrow.”

Said third baseman Brandon Inge: “He’s obviously going to be pitched well. He’s a great hitter. It’s hard to speak for him, but I don’t know. It’s kind of strange, because that double play to end the inning, he kind of hit it good. He just hit it down into the ground. If he lifts that ball, oh boy, we have a whole different ballgame going.” 

21 Comments

Do you ever trust or believe someone when they say “to be honest”…

Nope.

Lynn Hennings follow up article to Tom Gage’s is more direct on the imploding Tigs, Migg’s bruising and the response from our very own Sgt Shultz, Jim Leyland.
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We are likely to have a very peeved JV on the mound today, having already thrown over 200 more pitches this year than anyone else in MLB and required to produce another houdini act of getting a win with no run support from a spineless, bewildered and seemingly now divided dugout.
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If JL had any inkling of leadership, he would know the circumstances of Migg’s bruised face having already got to the bottom of it and taken action.
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I will give Ozzie one thing. When he suspected some of his players were beginning to go through the motions about a week ago, he gave it to his players with both barrells that included the disgusting interview.
He will almost certainly now be the catalyst of the demise of the 2009 Tigs and JL’s term at the helm of the SS Tigtanic.

Just remember, there are only 4 stages of grief to go through – Denial, Depression, Anger and Acceptance.
Anger is therefore good. Right?? :-)
I can’t see this Blog gaining Acceptance though for some time unless a lamb other than Figaro is delivered.
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I really don’t want to have any hope today and go back to Denial again. :-)

I can hardly believe people are speculating about Miggy’s face (it’s so cute, too). Who knows: may Lloyd slapped him upside the head (doubtful), maybe he had a few too many the night before (not surprising), maybe he got hit taking PB (unlikely), maybe be beat himself up out of frustration (rings a bell).

I don’t understand how anyone can want the Tigers to lose today so they can feel comfortable and get it over with. I hope we win. How excited everyone would be. what if we go to the Metrodome and actually win. What if the Twins lose today? October is a whole new season. Anything can happen. I hope our Tigers come out clobbering the ball and beat the crap our of Chicago. I want our team to go as far as possible. How can you wish for your team to lose? I’ll will never understand that!

The four stages of grief happen after the person is dead. This team has one more day to live. Let’s make it the best day of the season.

Any MLB team can win on any given day. We’ve seen this again and again.

Even if Verlander can lead the Tigers to a rare win today, I still don’t see the Twins losing. Then a playoff game in Minny? Yeah, that’ll be easy. JV can’t pitch two days in a row, which means the most important game of the season comes down to a 20 yr. old rookie. At least he’s a good rookie, anyway.
Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

We weren’t born to follow:

http://vimeo.com/6365984

Of course I want the Tigs to win – getting my hopes up though is another matter and irrational given the circumstances.
My accounting/engineering background is behind my pragmatic approach that rarely disappoints on the downside whilst still providing opportunity to be surprised on the upside.

I didn’t even notice this bruise – did anyone else??? And frankly unless he has a hematoma (spelling and lets hope he doesn’t that is extremely serious) It shouldn’t affect how he hits the ball at all. I think he is pressing trying to be everything and well he has fallen short quite a bit.
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Well we will know our fate probably totally around 5:00 when the Twins game is done, until then I will be in the bathroom puking. By the way I was at angry on Friday and Saturday. This morning I am at acceptance.
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GO TIGERS
GO KC

I am glad GK you saw my ‘grief’ comments for what they were intended – poor humour!! :-)

Thanks fellow blogging friends. This has all been very good therapy for me……And Rich, your entry on the last post summed up my feelings exactly.

Of course I don’t WANT the Tigers to lose today. That would go against my grain. I just threw the losing vs dome game out there as a preemptive strike against any suidical thinking in case we do lose the division today. You know, an “it could be worse” kind of thing? Myself, I consider one of the bonuses of playing in the postseason is the bonus baseball itself. Winter comes too soon as it is.
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My wife and I noticed Cabrera’s “rearranged” face during the game but blew it off with some jokes inappropriate for a family forum. The possibility of a clubhouse fight did enter my mind, however, and this “nobody knows anything” business pretty much confirms it. Clubhouse fights happen (how could they not?) but this isn’t a good time to be having them. On the other hand, it might wake the team up and will be looked back upon as a turning point after we win the WS. Sports stories aren’t created, they happen, then are written about.
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I don’t have a good lineup for a LH pitcher, so I won’t post one.
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GK, I mean to include DD in after the season discussions. The thing here is, he’s not only the GM but the team president. That’s a huge move. Leyland should resign for his own good as well as everyone else’s.
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–Rich

I’m almost too depressed to comment. Have been to most of the games this week and am going today. Last night we had to leave after the 7th because I was afraid I would burst into tears.
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I understand now why so many stars end up in the Yankees organization. For the record, I hate the NYY. I know there is the money thing, but in NY they are expected to win. Losing is not an option. Here it seems we are suppoesd to be grateful for what we get. BS.
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A month ago, I thought the notion of Verlander going to NY was crazy. How could he not love it in Detroit? Now, I would be surprised if he didn’t ask for a trade. I know it isn’t technically over, but this week has been pathetic will a capital P.
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I will always be a Tiger, but I don’t think I can renew my season tickets next year if we blow this. It’s been way too painful.

-Tracey

Interesting that Gardenhire is going with Pavano today on three day’s rest instead of Duensing on regular rest. One could make a case for saving Pavano for the tiebreaker. As it is, I suppose we’d get either Duensing or Baker. Gardy says he wants a veteran on the mound today. If that’s really his thinking, then he’d use Baker on Tuesday.
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–Rich

I can’t believe that I missed the face. I suppose I couldn’t see it through my tears. I guess I need to get a more powerful HD tv?? ha ha. I suppose there is no use speculating about what happened, maybe he was in an accident, maybe his girlfriend hit him, maybe a clubhouse fights, or maybe a ball just came up and bit him in the face??? Who knows.
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The fact of the matter is, that everyone wants to look at the last couple of weeks (including myself) and talk about well he should of had Polanco in on Thursday, or Magglio in on Tuesday. And it is hard to believe that this all comes down to one stinking game. Well I say what about the second game of the season and Jackson pitched a gem and Lyon had a bad game?? Or lets talk about the starts that were given to Dontrelle, Washburn or Bonderman. My point is that there is no use killing yourself over one game, because there are so many one games over the season. The fact of the matter is, that I believe the makeup of this team maybe doesn’t allow itself to have that extra something that the Rockies or even the stinking Twins have. I have no idea, but this team doesn’t always seem to have that extra gear. Or maybe they were fighting so hard all season that there were no other gears to go for. I don’t know. That is why when I hear someone say it is only one game?? Here is why that every game has importance.
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GO TIGERS
GO KC
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GK

I don’t think it matters who the Twins pitch. Unlike us, whomever they put out there will do the djob and will be supported by his defense and offense.
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I can see the reservations about putting in a RHB lineup. Nobody, other than Ordonez, seems to hit Danks much.
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I’d like to see the “old school” Jl actually manage that way today. If he gets a couple of guyson with nobody out, bunt. Simply bunt. The Twins do this and they put immense pressure on their opponents. True, they generally scroe the gauy from 3rd if they have only 1 out (and often enough, even 2 out).
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Leyland deserves the criticism that he is getting right now. He has benefitted from a very courteious fandom in Detroit over the years. That fandom has now grown very tired of his gruff, arrogant and pompous personality. They have finally seen that he has been given reverential treatment because of his baseball persona, he has not been able to motivate his players for years. He simply doesn’t. The best thing for this club next year is to reorganize from top to bottom. Leyland and his staff, save Knapp, need to be replaced.
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A new era in Tiger baseball is necessarry. The time of inventing some of these ballplayers and passing them off as credible MLB herores needs to done with. Just because a guy like Inge makes spectacular catches and has the ability to hit a HR every now and them does not (outside of Detroit) put him on a par with the better 3rd sackers in the game.
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Trying to pass the injury plagued and aging Carlos Guillen off as a positional player or DH is wishfull thinking in its purest form. Pretending Joel Zumaya is the 2nd coming is unfair to the fans.
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As great a guy as he seems to be, a big part of the problem of this ball club has been its owner. Illitch has just given too much money to his GM to throw around. The GM has been a bit reckless with this money and the large contracts given as reward for individually productive single season results (Robertson, Inge, Bonderman), multi-year deals based on yesteryears results ( Ordonez, Guillen, Willis ) and big name signings like Sheffield, have rendered the team with a large salary and aging veterans that no one will ever take off our hands. I think Illitch has his heart in the right place but not the right GM in his right place.
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It has been a devastatingly emotional year for Tiger fans. While I know there is the outside chance that things could work out today, what is going to happen with the core problem? And make no mistake, there most certainly is a core problem on this team.
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I know its hard to fathom but I am sure the players feel worse about this collapse than we do.
I’m sure they have put some pressure on themselves to win for the fans. It’s too bad they don’t know how much those fans only want to have their ‘heroes” get to play October baseball for their own sakes. Many of us realize this is not the kind of team that has enough talent and physical stamina to be playing 3 weeks from now. Just to have got in would have been enough—nothing else was expected of these guys.
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To finish this season off with a command performance would make a lot folks very happy. It will also stave off one of the most enduring ridicules and choke job sport cliches tht no one wants to hear for the few years of our lives.

Good points GK, good points Dan.
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The “one game” thing bugs me too. I don’t think the earlier games with Willis etc. went without heavy criticism at the time. And taking two, losing the third then happily getting on the bus doesn’t get it done either. Baseball people pay lip service to “every game is important” but their actions don’t always bear that out. I learned the importance of every single game in 1967.
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They will need to make changes not only to attempt improvement but to keep the fan base interested. Even this year, so many people lived in fear of the ultimate collapse and that’s on the verge of coming true. It’s hard to imagine much enthusiasm over this year’s team returning for more next year.
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Dave, you’re in accounting/engineering? I’d never have guessed that. :-)

Let’s all go eat a Twinkie, to give the Tigers a little luck, and maybe hex the Twins while we’re at it.

This general mood of impending doom has me frightened. Someone once said that “If a person wakes up in the morning convinced they’re going to die, chances are, they’ll find a way to make it happen before the end of the day”.

I’m not trying to blow sunshine, but there’s a big part of me that would love to see the Tigers walk into that ravenous, loud Metrodome, watch Porcello pitch the game of his life and see all the Twinie fans suddenly fall silent.

Any remember how quiet Comerica Park was when the Royals swept the Tigers on the last game of the 06 season? At least time, the Tigers were guaranteed the Wild Card…

http://soule.mlblogs.com

oh, good idea Soul – going out to buy a box of twinkie’s now, that way if we lose I can drown my sorrows with the rest of the box.

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