Miguel Cabrera’s 0-for-18 slump nearing career long

Miguel Cabrera's 0-for-18 slump is the second-longest of his career. (AP)

The last time Miguel Cabrera had a hitless streak this long, he was a 20-year-old rookie trying to get through the dog days of summer with the Florida Marlins.

That was 2003, and Cabrera went hitless in a career-long 23 straight at-bats from August 24-31, dropping his average to .251. He broke out of it with a double off Montreal’s Tomo Ohka; that’s how long ago it was. (Thanks to baseball-reference.com for the stats.)

He was a highly-touted prospect having a hot season then. He’s a defending batting champion, an MVP candidate and one-half of arguably baseball’s most dynamic hitting duo now. That’s only part of what makes his current slump so perplexing.

Cabrera enters Monday’s series opener at Kansas City mired in an 0-for-18 skid, including an 0-for-12 series at Chicago. By comparison, he was 8-for-17 in Detroit’s first five games.

His biggest highlights over three games against the White Sox were a couple defensive gems, including his diving catch on a sharp liner for Rick Porcello on Sunday, and his well-played complaint in the series opener that the batters box was too far forward.

He already looked like a frustrated hitter at that point, visibly flustered after the batters box was redrawn and he popped out to right on the first pitch. He had some decent strikes after that, flying out to the center-field fence his first time up Saturday and doing the same to left field in his first at-bat Sunday. He also required a highlight catch from Dayan Viciedo to rob him of a hit in the seventh inning Sunday.

If there’s any trend to take out of the skid, it’s that he wasn’t doing a whole lot to right field, lacking those opposite-field liners that get him so many big hits over the course of a season. That could be a credit to the way the White Sox pitched him, or it could be a timing issue, though he struck out just twice over three games against the Sox compared to twice in last Thursday’s series finale with the Rays.

Aside from that rookie skid, Cabrera had gone hitless in four straight games just two other times before now — June 23-27, 2003, and May 11-14, 2007. In other words, this is definitely his deepest slump as a Tiger.

The good news for him is that he’ll get left-handed pitching for at least the next couple days in Kansas City, starting with Danny Duffy, against whom he went 3-for-8 with a pair of doubles last year. Cabrera is 9-for-18 with three homers off Bruce Chen, who starts Tuesday. So even as off as Cabrera seemed over the weekend, there’s plenty of reason to expect Cabrera’s skid to end here. If it doesn’t, well, it’ll be a bigger story than it is now.

65 Comments

He will do deep tonight, enoughs enough

Thanks for those facts, Jason. What had seemed to most of us as his longest slump in Detroit is, in fact, just that. I have some thoughts on this but I’m going to wait a week, by which time it probably won’t be necessary to share them.

Miggy, any stories about Tiger thirdbasemen being cursed and unable to hit are just a legend handed down from generation to generation. One blooper and you’ll be off and running toward another great season. Anyway, Jason last week while I was following the adventures and tales of our man Brandon Inge, I discovered that we signed Brad Eldred in January, an 11 year minor league vet with 231 minor league homers. In ten games with the Mud Hens he has a .360 average 6 doubles 4 homers, and ten RBIs. If this torrid pace continues would management consider giving him one last chance to show his stuff at the ML level??. Didn’t Ryan Ludwick kill the ball in Toledo one season and then signed with St. Louis the next year?? We have added some strong lefty hitters the past couple of years and teams are going to send left handed pitching out there against us on a regular basis.

surprised mitch hasn’t written a piece suggesting the tigers need to get rid of him

Let’s get that Mig-o-Meter heading in the right direction. Go Tigers!!

Miggy is the least of our worries.

BTW, Rockin’ Rodney got his 4th save this morning. His ERA sits at a gaudy ZERO.
He is throwing well and hard.
Good on him.

Jackson CF, Boesch LF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Raburn LF, Peralta SS, Avila C, Inge 2B, (Verlander P)

*shakes head* why on earth would you have raburn batting after peralta?

i mean after delmon…in the 6 spot

Square peg in round hole philosophy. JL is GOING to make this work.
Maybe Raburn will be able to play LF better than RF today.
Inge rewarded for looking pretty pathetic yesterday.
The square peg is Raburn and the round peg is Inge. Leyland keeps trying to put them in the wrong holes though. Eventually it will get sorted out.

Hopefully it’s sorted out before the wheels fall completely off. Raburn is not hitting albeit not striking out at his torrid pace of last year but still BAD. Inge still looks lost at the plate so The Big Cat Cabrera better snap out I it cuz we have some real rally killers in the lineup.

IMO brandon Inge is getting 90ABs regardless of how gawd awful he bats….and if after 90ABs he is over a .220 he stays. How brandon got such amazing job security I have no clue. IMO raburn and INGe should not be in the same lineup batting the way they are.

Raburn after Young means that JL can PH for Ryan if they bring in a righty. Dirks or Kelly. That would keep the lefty pinch hitter before Peralta instead of the LH hitting Avila. Stays away from two lefties in a row. Makes it more difficult for KC to matchup as it would cost them an extra reliever. Managers are all about those L-R matchups, all of ‘em.

A long cold Cabrera should equal an even longer hot Cabrera. Jackson is doing his job we need some of the other guys to pick it up like career non- offensive Laird did yesterday. Pitching wise I’m a little more worried. JL’s confidence in Schlereth is unfounded and our back end has looked touchable to date. The SOC has only lost Verlander’s last start by mismanagement and we’re still above 500 after what looked to be a dismal outcome for the first few series.

i have come to accept as fact that for whatever reasons (psychological, luck, etc), that baseball is a game of streaks, both good and bad. great hitters slump. poor hitters find a hot streak. a player’s true ability is determined over the course of a long season.
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not surprised, but so interesting that cabrera was the one, not the home plate ump, to discover the misaligned batter’s box. just indicative of his level of awareness on the field. his IQ for the game seems off the charts.

with Jackson off to a hot start, should McClendon get some credit for working with him to make the necessary adjustment in his stroke? coaches and managers get maligned for decisions that fail. is it too early to give McClendon some kudos for a job well done in this situation?

Miggy looked tire on Sunday, I hope he wasn’t out partying with the White Sox again!

He used to hang out with Ozzie!

I actually think that if he was he was probably drinking Pepsi—not COKE!.
Call me naive.

Miggy hasn’t had a hit since the at bat where he hurt his wrist. Wonder if thats in the back of his mind when he’s up.

For what it’s worth, I have not seen Cabrera getting any treatment on his wrist.

Let’s go JV. you have a couple people to be unhappy with. JL the 1st game and yourself the 2nd. Tought to throw that well 3 times in a row but if anyone can it would be you.

He had 2 good years againts the White Sox, three extremely bad.He destroys the Yankees but can not bat against WSox. That happens.

So they are playing at Bizarro World?

The tigers offense the last 2 days, Laird and Inge!

amazing!

Granderson has just made the until now, play of the year

Running against Francoeur´s arm is not wise

Time for Valverde to go back to the horse

Officially getting unnerved by Carbrera…… What the heck Cabby!

Time to coach visit to the mound

Feeling like a basketcase.

What is JL waiting?

I think Justin wants to be responsible for whatever way it goes. He’s gotta believe he can do it.

Yes, but a responsible manager must say enough is enough

There was no reason to have Verlander in the 9th. Tomorrow Smyly will pitch. He has 6 more relievers

Geez how long ya going o leave him in?

He has no control at all. He is three batters late to pull him

Oh, for chrissakes, let’s just self destruct.

It is official , when he hit 100, it is time

Complete game. Whew!!!!!!!

Fire Leyland before he breaks his arm

Have he heard about Norris or Valenzuela?

I agree El Tigre. Completely irresponsible to have him throwing 130+ pitches in April. I dont care if JV begged him to go back out; who is managing?
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JL says he would never start JV on 3 days rest in a playoff series but he pulls a stunt like this in an April game. Makes no sense at all. Glad we won but I am very mad at JL.
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Who’d a thought Binge would hit the winning homer.
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

the double JV standard (# of pitches in april vs. days rest in POs) does confuse me! Good point!

Inge and Laird are most of the offense the past two days.
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Cabrera lately has become “good field no hit.”
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JL leaves Verlander in for 131 pitches.
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We’re playing .700 ball………in the Twilight Zone.

Leyland visits the mound in the 9th and says to Verlander “You’re going to get me fired.” Love it.

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what a nailbiter last night. I love watching Verlander and have faith in him, but could not believe my eyes when he kept him in for the whole game. I was not a fan of him starting the 9th with the pitch count, but when Leyland came out and only talked to him I was in shock – too many pitches, I don’t care that he is superman. And as many hard thrown balls as he was throwing that inning it was just like last game when he appeared to get away from his game plan.

OK, so he got his complete game and saved himself, let’s get back to smart managing of our ace.

Nicely done Inge, Raburn needs some help finding that stroke too, let’s just hope it sticks for a bit. And Jackson is just amazing this year – and you are right – the hitting coach should get tons of credit for helping him make the changes he needed.

For me the big eye opener was JV stating ‘I had some demons to exorcise’. This coming after a likely career defining season from the best of the best and then experiencing a minor setback last week which Jason best described it along the lines of proving he is at least human.
No matter how much confidence we may exude, it seems we all can’t fool the one looking back from the mirror.

Verlander throws so effortlessly, it looks like pitch 130 was less strain than pitch 1. So I get leaving him in, I love the competitive spirit and think aces should pitch deep. Just don’t pitch him out of rotation (a day early, or even a day late). I thought he was getting squeezed in the 9th, especially considering the last strikeout of Peralta in the top of the 9th was well outside. Were we griping too much to get the zone shrunk for JV.
I look forward to seeing Smyly today, his nerves will be settled. Let’s see what adjustments are made.

This night a third LHP in line. And they has showed weak batting against them. Even Cabrera´s numbers are lower against them than against RHP ( even if highers than Fielder´s). Peralta must be in the 6th after Young and perhaps another game for Laird. They will need every single run today.

The only season for Cabrera as a Tiger under 300 was 2007 when he was learning to play first base and adjusting himself to real pitching instead of NL pitching.
He also swingingat too many bad pitches like two years ago when he ended with no protection and that is really strange

How about comparing the first ten games last year with this year’s first ten. Last year the team had a 3-7 record while this year we are 7-3. The team batting average is better this year, the pitchers have allowed 20 fewer runs through the first ten games, and the overall defense has been superb. In the tenth game last year JV was allowed to go nine innings even though Texas eventually beat us 2-0. So this year we have the added bonus of JV winning his first complete game of the year.
Baseball is a marathon but our sprint from the starting gate sure looks good. Of course, health is a concern and we need Doug back when he is 100 per cent.

Right-hander Doug Fister, who has been on the disabled list since April 8 with a left costochondral strain in his rib cage, threw 10 fastballs of a mound at Kauffman Stadium Monday with no setbacks. “He threw today and felt good,” JL said. “A little stiff, but he felt good. It’s just a process.”

I hope he is back soon, am hoping he continues to pitch the way he did for us last year

Leyland just can’t win……… Opening day, people (not me) thought he should of kept him in, and that was just crazy. Second game with what 81 pitches people were upset he didn’t take him out. Nw last night with about the same amount of pitches as opening day, people are again mad he wasn’t taken out. I just don’t get it?

Hardest jobs in Detroit? lions QB, redwings goalie and tigers manager.

Different people, different opinions. Fans don’t speak with one voice.
I agreed with JL on all three occasions. I don’t think Valverde is a middle of the inning type of reliever, so the decision must be made before the 9th inning begins.
What Verlander needs to do is pitch in the 9th the same way he did the previous 8 innings. Stick with what got you the first 24 outs.

For the record I was not upset with any of his decisions either. In fact I thought those in the first game were crazy to want to see him go any farther. Although it almost went a little to far for me last night. Not because he almost blew it again, but because I thought for this early in the season the pitch count was at the limit.

I liked that Leyland left him in. I did not, however, agree with opening day.
Go Tigers!

I know 120 pitches is getting up there – but what is too many pitches to throw? how many is the the most thrown anyhow?

I remember a time when starting pitchers pitched complete games commonly. Heck denny mcclain won 31 games in 68 many of which were complete games. The only reason todays pitchers have pitch counts is to appease their agents so they can try to pitch many years to make that agent more money. Talk to nolan ryan about pitch counts and see how fast you get chased out of his vicinity.

Lineup vs KC: Jackson CF, Boesch RF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young LF, Avila C, Raburn 2B, Santiago SS, Dirks DH, Smyly P

I wish somebody would ask Leyland why Raburn is in the lineup everyday. That’s just ridiculous.

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