July 11th, 2013
Before the benches and bullpens emptied, before Jim Leyland made the decision to stick with Anibal Sanchez for the sixth inning, just before Prince Fielder took a pitch up and in from Chris Sale, Miguel Cabrera did it again.
With one swing off what wasn’t a bad 3-2 pitch from Sale, Cabrera reached the 30-homer mark, which is historic in Tigers lore and would be pacesetting for the league this year if not for Chris Davis’ amazing pace. Add in Cabrera’s RBI total, now at 94, and the combination is unprecedented.
No one in Major League history had the combination of 30 home runs and 90 RBIs by the All-Star break until Cabrera hit his 30th homer Thursday. However, there’s a catch to that. Jimmie Foxx had 30 homers and 93 RBIs by the 80-game mark in 1932, the year before the first All-Star Game. He ended up with 58 homers and 169 RBIs that year.
Cabrera is the 35th player to reach the 30-homer mark by the All-Star break since 1933. The previous high RBI total for that group was 87, matched by four players (Albert Pujols in 2009, David Ortiz in 2006, Mark McGwire in 1998 and Willie Stargell in 1971).
Two previous players to top the 90-RBI mark by the break had 29 home runs to go with it. Tony Perez and George Foster each had 29 homers and 90 RBIs at the break with the 1970 and 1977 Reds, respectively.
Cabrera, meanwhile, has three games left and six RBIs to go to try to become the third player ever hit the century mark by the break. His 95th RBI will tie him with Josh Hamilton (2008 Rangers) for fifth on the list.
Much the same lineup for Chris Sale as the Tigers sent out Tuesday against Jose Quintana. About the only Tiger with past success against Sale is Jhonny Peralta, 4-for-11 off of him, which is why I picked him in Beat the Streak today. The White Sox, meanwhile, put Jeff Keppinger at first base and shift Adam Dunn to DH.
TIGERS (career numbers off Chris Sale)
- Austin Jackson, CF (2-for-11, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
- Torii Hunter, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B (1-for-11, 3 walks, 3 K’s)
- Prince Fielder, 1B (1-for-9, 3 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (1-for-5, walk, K)
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (4-for-11, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
- Matt Tuiasosopo, LF
- Brayan Pena, C (0-for-8, 2 K’s)
- Hernan Perez, 2B
P: Anibal Sanchez
WHITE SOX (career numbers off Sanchez)
- Alejandro De Aza, CF
- Alexei Ramirez, SS
- Alex Rios, RF
- Adam Dunn, DH (6-for-22, 2 walks, 8 K’s)
- Jeff Keppinger, 1B
- Conor Gillaspie, 3B (1-for-3)
- Dayan Viciedo, LF
- Gordon Beckham, 2B
- Josh Phegley, C
P: Chris Sale
As expected, Rick Porcello dropped the appeal of his suspension this morning. He’ll begin serving it today, which would give him four games served before the All-Star break.
Porcello indicated that the suspension might have been reduced to five games from six, but there’s no official word on that yet. The difference is probably academic, basically a matter of serving one game of suspension next weekend in Kansas City or two. Considering Max Scherzer is currently the only Tigers pitcher who’s expected to pitch in the All-Star Game (unless Anibal Sanchez is added), the Tigers will have plenty of options for who can start out of the break.