Cabrera’s latest smash hit: The Bourn lunacy

Miguel Cabrera tends to stay humble when he talks about home runs after a game, but his face usually tells the story on the swing. The look on Cabrera’s face as he rounded first base in the eighth inning Wednesday night was genuine surprise. (You can see it on the replay here.)

He did not think he had hit that ball out to center field. Technically, he was right.

“I was surprised,” he said. “I was like so surprised. Wow, that’s the first time that happened to me. It doesn’t happen very often.”

For someone with the power to hit the ball out to all fields, and often with tape-measure distance. That’s saying something.

It was a first for Michael Bourn, too.

“Never had it happen, man,” he said. “I guess they say first time for everything, huh?”

It’s not a first for many Tigers who fans, who remember Miguel Olivo getting a home run off the bounce from Ryan Raburn’s glove in left field two years ago. This was the flip side for them, and because it was Cabrera’s homer for two huge insurance runs, it was that much bigger.

“It’s one of those freak things that happens,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “You see that now and then. You don’t see it that often. That was just a freaky game.”

Cabrera’s four homers over his previous two games included two line drives that carried out to center field. This one off sidearming lefty Rich Hill went out to center, but more on a fly ball that seemingly hung in the air and gained distance.

Bourn had spent most of the evening running down drives all over center and left-center field, stealing at least two extra-base hits in the process to slow the Tigers offense a bit. He had Cabrera’s fly ball lined up better than any of those, and had seemingly timed his reach — not even a jump so much as a reach.

“I watched it,” Cabrera said. “I said he got it and then the last time I looked back, it wasn’t the same.”

Bourn was direct about it.

“I just missed it,” Bourn said. “There wasn’t no excuses. I had my balance, I was good and it just came out of my glove.”

That’s the thing. The ball was right in Bourn’s glove before it popped out. It wasn’t much of a deflection.

“I don’t know how it came outta there,” Bourn said, “but it did. And then it bounced over the wall. That’s the thing about it. I could see if it stayed in play, but it went over the wall. It happened.”

The look when Cabrera realized it was over the wall resembled a game-show contestant who wins a prize on a lucky guess. He was still smiling in the dugout about it as he recreated the swing.

“I thought it was an out there,” Cabrera said. “I was very lucky there. It’s better to be lucky than good.”

Considering he’s a home run away from leading all three of the Triple Crown categories again says he’s pretty good, too. Only Baltimore’s Chris Davis, with 14 home runs, has more than Cabrera’s 13 among American League hitters. His 52nd RBI put him 11 up on the next AL competitor, also Davis.

It also marked the 10th time in Cabrera’s career that he has homered in three consecutive games. If he can homer Thursday against the Twin, he’ll tie his career-best four-game homer streak set April 10-14, 2004 as a Florida Marlin.

 

37 Comments

The first link doesn’t work.

It was hilarious! And helped my state of mind immensely!

hey Rich how do we follow up on the verlander pitch tipping thing?

Sure nice timely sweep that must have been a huge psychological blow to the Indians, even with our starters not at their best.
Some interesting Tig batting averages for each innings and AL rank:
1st – .313, 3/15;
2nd – .313, 1/15;
3rd .306, 3/15;
4th .315, 1/15;
5th .351, 1/15;
6th .277, 5/15;
7th .216, 13/15;
8th .234, 8/15;
9th .186, 14/15;
Xtra .229, 9/15;
Pinch hitter 22AB’s for .136, 11/15.
Could be worse, the A’s pinch hitters from 46 AB’s, by far the most in the AL are a horrendous .065. Six AL teams though are under .15 for pinch hitters with none in the NL.

Highlighting the contrasting Tig batting stats better:
Innings 1-6: .313/.371/.489/.860, First in the AL for AVG, OBP, SLG & OPS;
Innings 7 or later: .217/.304/.322/.262, being last in the AL for SLG and OPS.

Sorry .262 should be .626 OPS.

Ugly wins are still wins – another rough outing for Verlander but the team had his back, glad he got the opportunity for a win – nice series sweep – very timely wins!

Great stats Dave B. 1-6 really strong. Need some work late in the game. Why don’t we have more late game magic??

Verlander’s last three games?? Cleveland. Texas. Cleveland. Two very hot teams. The bad news is right now he can not shut down good hitting teams. He was amped up when Texas hit him for seven. Last night he started rushing it to try to get five in before the rain. Let’s check the schedule. He will face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Memorial Day. Remember the Pirates and Verlander last year?? Pirates are playing well but not a great hitting team. Good test for him.

Thanks, Statman, also El Tigre for all those numbers. Thanks also for the idea of tipping the pitches. I did not think of that but it makes sense. Did you all see Justin and Max having an animated discussion? Too late for me so I missed the Miguel smash hit. GK, it looked like the ump was inconsistent for both teams. The Twins are really struggling right now. Go Tigers!

For sure he was inconsistent for both teams he just couldn’t decide about those outside pitches, sometimes they were strikes, sometimes they were not. Sometimes pitches that were actually strikes were balls and visa versa. If I remember correctly (and my brain is a bit fuzzy right now, had a pretty bad car accident the other day, lady ran a red light) I digress but he was set up on the inside of the pitcher so those outside pitches he was horribly inconsistent. I was frustrated, and you could tell hitters and pitchers alike didn’t appreciate it either.

hey feel better GK that’s a bummer

Cheers guys. Dave, I have largely laid off the stats the last couple of seasons. DOK, you always cease to amaze me with your positive take on life – now how can you bottle it???
I doubt the batting averages are just a statistical anomaly and is due to the often easy wins and also the overall poor bullpen performance thus far.
The Tigs have a run differential of +1.3 which is equal highest with the Cardinals who have .652 win % compared to the Tigs .568.
It also shows to me playing the matchups with pinch hitters is dumb when your guy being pinch hit for is swinging the bat well.

I usually don’t point out typos but “you always cease to amaze me” was too good to pass up. It’s a good one liner. :-)
And I was actually wondering if DOK is a motivational speaker.

Oh, no. Far from it.

It’s not tipping your pitches when you start throwing a steady diet of fastballs. In the last two games, how many fastballs did he throw in his last inning in each game?? He has allowed ten runs in less than two innings of work. Not good. The first poor start against Cleveland he walked five batters. Rich, do you think he looks like 08 when they were hammering homers off the change up?? The last two homers against Soto and Santana. Were they off heaters or change ups?? Or something else. Anybody see the velocity on the pitches??

46% of his pitches last night were fastballs. His fastball was 95.25mph average, 87 for his changeup, 85.6 for his slider and 79.7 for his curveball. It really was that 2nd inning where he threw 20 pitches – and don’t forget that was the raburnesq play by torii (or said another way that was when the ghost of raburn haunted poor torii) that should have been 2nd out and Kipnis would have ended the inning w/o any scoring. Torii catches that ball Justin throws 11 pitches that inning. Santana hit a 95mph fastball and Gomes hit a 90mph fastball (2 seamer maybe?).

didn’t help he threw only 55% of his pitches for strikes in the 2nd i reckon

the walk issued to cabrera – right after striking out Kipnis (2nd inning) – wasn’t even close – the 1st fastball (like 98mph) was on the black and called a strike. The next was another FB was lots of zip no command – way high and called a strike. Then a curveball way high, and two chaneups not even close to the plate. it was ugly.

On the tipping business, there are only clues. There are pictures of the Cleveland thirdbase coach holding down fingers as he peers in at Verlander in the set position. Cleveland hitters were glancing at the coaches from the batters box. JV and Jeff Jones went to look at video mid-game, which is unheard of for Justin. Two bad starts against Cleveland sandwiched around the Texas disaster. A great pitcher like Verlander, unless injured, doesn’t just go bad all of a sudden. And the Cleveland hitters teed off on his fastball like they knew what was coming.
I don’t know how you’d prove this unless an announcement was made.

Okay. .We played them about ten days ago. Did they pick something up then?? Interesting.

A 3-3 road trip against division leaders. I’ll take it.

Especially those two against the division leading Indians. Now we go back home and need to get on a roll. Go Tigers!!!!

Raburn’s misplay from Beck’s link is funny in retrospect. Seems appropriate that Coke gave up the dong.

Now 7-6 vs the Central foes, 19-18 against everyone else but the Astros (6-1). Sure would be nice to string a series of wins at CoPa against another nemesis, the Twinkies! I just read that Comerica is the most hitter friendly AL park followed by Ballpark @ Arlington, Camden Yards, then Kauffman Stadium.

As long as they realize it might have been going on and now work to hide his pitches better.

Evan, what you offered up there sounds like some command issues. A few weather related issues, I want to toss at you. Last night did it rain any before the fifth inning?? All of a sudden hit in the fifth?? JV is not a mudder. Never does well in bad weather. Now for your research question. He now has ten starts. What has been the game time temperature for those ten starts?? If I remember correctly, it starts with 32 degrees in MN on 4/1. Then 4/7 NYY in Det, 4/13 @Oak , 4/18 @ Seattle, 4/25 KC @ home, 4/30 vs MN. This month 5/5 @ Houston, 5/11 vs.Cleveland, 5/16 @ Texas, and 5/22 @ Cleveland. Do you get any big numbers?? Remember I’m looking forward to seeing how he does against Pitt on Memorial Day and 6/1 against the O’s. Hey Rich, will you see that one?? Saturday, afternoon??

I already have tickets for that one. It’s a Verlander start? As of now, forecast for June1 is hot.

light rain for a few innings – then heavy for 5th and they shut it down. i think they have shut it down before the start of the heavy rain. I’ll check those temps later today – maybe tonight – as well as a forecast for memorial day and maybe june 1.

Hi All: I have not posted in a long time, mostly because I usually have nothing to add to the well considered comments made by the regulars.
I have a question for the older Tiger fans who follow this Blog: Does anyone beside me remember when Don Demeter missed a fly ball to CF in a Sunday game and it bounced into the seats for a homer? He pre-dated Mickey Stanley by several years, so it had to have happened during the 1964 or ’65 seasons. There was a great photo in the Free Press next day, showing the ball deflecting off of his glove and his eyes closed.
AA Mark

I don’t remember the play itself, but deep within the hazy, cobwebbed photo gallery of my mind, I seem to see that picture. The eyes closed thing is familiar.
For you younger folks, Don Demeter played outfield for the Tigers from 1964(?) until June of 1966 when he was traded to Boston for starter Earl Wilson; one of the great all time steals in Tigers trade history. Wilson won 18 games that year, 22 in 1967, and posted a 2.85 ERA in 1968. Demeter faded into obscurity. My personal memory of him is seeing him jack one halfway up the upper deck seats in left, a long poke in that ballpark. He was traded a few days later.

Did we get Don Demeter by trading Jim Bunning for him?? Was that a minus steal??

You’re right, we DID trade Bunning for him. Man, that Demeter was some kind of overrated outfielder, wasn’t he? Brotherhood of Christian Athletes guy, Ernie’s thing.

Ok. First quarter of the season is over. Time for a rant. First of all, JV shall return. Well overdue for a rough stretch. He’s having it now, too early to worry. Local paper here says Avila coming to the Mud Hens. No shock here since the Hens have been carrying 3 catchers for almost 3 weeks now. Mgr. Phil Nevin says it’s to make it easier to warm up 2 pitchers at the same time. Right.. only thing Nevin is worse at besides managing and coaching third base, is speaking off the cuff. Let’s face it, so far, Avila has turned one good season into a career. He will head to the farm, try to get his swing back, and if he does, he will be traded. If he can’t get the swing back, they will release him. Expect Holiday to come up to the bigs. He has been hitting the ball for average with power down here. Poor Alex has not been the same since Leyland burned him out in 2011. Good luck to him. I predict you won’t see him again in a Tigers uni. Speaking of changing uniforms, this should be the swan song for Phil Nevin in the Tigers organization. Failed experiment. When he moves on to coaching junior college somewhere, expect to see Larry Parrish back with the Hens. Tigers didn’t hire him back to manage A ball for the rest of his career. GO TIGERS!!

Alex Avila turned twenty-six this past January. He had a cup of coffee in 09 and then spent the past three seasons with our Tigers in the Show. Other facts: an All-Star in 11, played in the playoffs the past two seasons, two games in World Series last season. Hey, on a personal level, did he and his wife have a baby girl early this season?? Any chance that could be effecting his play?? Are the wife and baby with him in Detroit or back in Miami?? Just asking some questions.

No getting around it his numbers are nearing Raburnesque status. I did not check Webster’s as I know that is not really a word but I think you get my point. The Skipper is going to play him, sit him, play him , then sit and play him while resting him. Good luck with that. He gets until May 30th to straighten Alex out. One week.

Then Alex goes to Toledo with the following plan: he will play every day but only a couple times a week as catcher. The rest of the time he will DH. In essence, he will get a vacation from the day to day grind of catching and work on his hitting. Will ten days in Toledo be beneficial?? It sure could be. Now the Toledo schedule will have him in Toledo for six games, Columbus, Oh for two, then it’s on to Rochester. If he is still struggling, we can go to a twenty, thirty, or forty day plan. Forty days sound extreme but only goes to the All-Star break. Hey, I want him to win player of the week down there and be back in Detroit before Father’s Day.

Do we have options to fill-in for him?? Bryan Holaday has hit a solid .280 in Toledo while hitting nearly .400 against LHP. Solid defensively. Ramon Cabrera hit near .400 at Erie for a good part of April and since has been promoted to Toledo. James Mc Cann hit over .300 in April at Erie but I believe he cooled off recently. Anyway, the answer is YES we have options.

DOK, you are a motivational speaker! YES WE CAN! hah.
.
Hey so what’s the word with Miguel’s HAND? I think he hurt his right hand at some point – and that’s why he wasn’t holding on the bat with both hands when he raburn-ed that ball off bourn’s head.

mitt! sorry was thinking Canseco. Which reminds me — Canseco is in the news lately and it is worse than usual…

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