Is Miguel Cabrera motivated by hitting slumps?

Miguel Cabrera’s batting average stood at .316 on June 19, before he went hitless in three straight games against the Cardinals and Pirates. He has gone 8-for-16 over his last four games to bring his average back up to .312, including his four-hit, two-RBI game Thursday night at Tampa Bay.

Asked about the performance, Jim Leyland had an interesting reaction.

“I like it when he’s about 2-for-12 and somebody starts writing about it,” Leyland said after the game, “because that usually wakes him up a little bit.”

I’m sorry, what?

“I don’t know if it did or not,” Leyland said when asked further, “but it seems to work.”

For what it’s worth, Cabrera’s skid was 0-for-15 before he homered off Brad Lincoln on Saturday in Pittsburgh. It was the second time this season that Cabrera had that long of a hitless stretch.

When Cabrera went five straight games hitless in an 0-for-22 skid, he bounced out of it with a 12-for-28 stretch with two homers and four RBIs. That was the second-longest hitless stretch of his career.

Is that what’s driving him? Hard to tell. While he has talked a little bit about the team, his comments about his own hitting have been limited lately. He responded in spring training when it was suggested by many that he couldn’t play third base. Nobody has been suggesting he can’t hit, even during his deepest of funks.

It’s also worth mentioning that Cabrera hits well at Texas. He’s a .369 (75-for-203) career hitter in Texas with a 1.014 OPS. However, he’s just a .264 career hitter at Tampa Bay (55-for-208). Yet his ninth-inning homer Thursday was his 11th lifetime at Tropicana Field, two more than he has at The Ballpark at Arlington.

27 Comments

Nice game to watch last night, the pitching staff all did their jobs as did our hitters. Lots of hits last night, would have thought we would have more runs, but we got what we needed. Nice to see Valverde have a good outing, Benoit after the initial problems is right back to being reliable – love it.

Yes, you can count on El Tigre for stats. But the other DaveB is “statman” Give us something good, statman!

Thanks

Miguel is one proud man. He is out to prove he is the best hitter in baseball, period. He wants to lead his team to the playoffs and World Series. When the media point at a slump, he corrects it. He is an amazing player. In over fifty years of following the Tigers, I’ve never seen anyone put together five consecutive years like Miguel is in the process of doing.

For my half century, Cabrera is easily the best hitter I’ve ever seen in a Tigers uniform. Kaline is the best all around player but Miggy is a guy you stop what you’re doing to watch him hit. There are very few guys I’ve said that about.

I was reading Hal Bodley’s article about Leyland on the main site. I had the feeling I’d read this article before, then realized that was because it was filled with all the stock Leyland-isms, things said by him and about him. That was funny.

Recently, I made a post stating that we have not faired well against lefty starters. This is a problem we need to address. We are destined to see two young lefties when we face the White Sox from here on out. Anyway, here is a lineup to start against the Rays tonight. What do you think? Truly think we need Berry’s speed on the field tonight. We need to get #39 going as a right handed hitter. It has to start now.

Jackson CF
Santiago 2B
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Young DH
Peralta SS
Raburn RF
Laird C
Berry LF

how you already know the lineup for tonight?

Just offering up a possibility. What do you think of it??

santiago doesn’t have the OBP to bat 2nd. Alex must play every night….so switch him and laird. Raburn has no business batting anything but 8 or 9th.
AJ – Berry – Cabby – Prince – Delmon – Peralta – Santiago – Avila – Raburn

II think that lineup for today is good. Though I would prefer Raburn in LF rather than RF. Also I’m happy with Berry batting 2nd.
Raburn’s defensive numbers are significantly better in left than right. He’s also played left quite a bit more.
I actually think your personnel will be the ones who play today.

Your adjustment in the outfield with JV on the mound is a sound one. Mad man Maddon will probably have a lefty heavy order. Just thought batting Berry ninth would protect him against the worst case scenario of him being overpowered by Price. It also gives us a chance to see Berry batting in front of Jackson without moving AJ from lead off.

Against a tough lefty with runs at a premium (this will probably a 4-2, or less, type ball game) I wouldn’t expect Berry to do much more than bunt anyway. He seems to have a knack for it.
With his speed and if AJ is on I feel it is way better to make the fielders come to get the ball rather than the ball getting to the fielders. Way more mistakes are made when fielders are pressured.
Either way, that lineup should be good enough.

Laird, Berry, Jackson, Santiago in order at anyplace in the lineup provides an opportunity for some “small ball” if it becomes that kind of game, which it very well might. I’m looking forward to this one. It’s also easier to watch when you don’t expect us to hit a whole lot against this starter.

great point…about the small ball

Our hitters do deserve credit for the hitting they did against two pretty good pitchers the last two night. Getting about 30 hits against Oswalt and Shields is an easy accomplishment.

Would dirks be back already if we hadn’t kept playing him / not putting him on the dL?

So Miguel read Freepress and Mlive and then go into a hot streak?

More likely its Miguel reacting to those inside pitches. That is probably what fired him up the most.

El Tigre, have a great one for you to look up and compare. J. V. as a rookie in 06 and Yu Darvish this season. It’s scary how similar their records are.

VERLANDER: Pre All Star , 2006.R:10- 4/ SO:69 BB: 33 HR : 11/ ERA:3.01
WHIP 1.17/ Avg .241 Babip:241
DARVISH: 10-4 / SO 106 BB 50 8 HR/ERA: 3.57
But WHIP: 1.380 avg.228 Babip: 298.
Whip gives Verlander a good advantage

Back to the original subject of this entry:
“I like it when he’s about 2-for-12 and somebody starts writing about it,” Leyland said after the game, “because that usually wakes him up a little bit.”
.
That’s a bizarre thing to say, actually. Think he was pulling a little bit of media leg? Sounds like a deadpan put on. If that’s the case, I like it! :-)

Yes, he was trying to get Keating out of his office.

@tigers lineup: Jackson 8, Santiago 4, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Young dh, Raburn 9, Peralta 6, Laird 2, Berry 7. Verlander 1

With three RHB in front of Prince and four RHB behind him, here’s hoping one or two guys run into one and we get some homers.

DOK, you nearly nailed that lineup. Flip flop Peralta and Raburn. Jim’s probably thinking of a possible switch there with their bullpen. Ends up L-R the way he likes it.

Are we ready to beat the Rays?? Let’s go Tigers!!!!

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