Game 151: Cabrera gets his swing back
Yes, it seemed like a long time to Miguel Cabrera, too.
“It’s been a long time [that] I don’t hit a home run,” Cabrera said after his solo homer Tuesday night. “It feels good right there. A long time.”
Three weeks, 14 games and 47 at-bats, to be more accurate.
The lead Cabrera’s 44th home run of the season created didn’t last long. The Mariners, who had tied the game in the sixth inning before Cabrera pulled the Tigers ahead, tied it again in the next inning.
The sense of relief over Cabrera’s first home run since Aug. 26 lasted a lot longer than the lead it created.
“I hit a couple balls in Chicago and here [last week] that maybe [had a chance to] go out,” Cabrera said, “but something was wrong with my swing. The ball didn’t carry very well. Right now I feel much better, and I feel on my swing the ball’s carrying again.”
After a first-inning walk, Cabrera flew out to center his second time up Tuesday, taking a fastball from Brandon Maurer before getting under a slider. He didn’t swing at a fastball until he goe one with a 2-2 pitch in the sixth inning. The result was a no-doubt launch to right-center field.
“He’s a great hitter. He’s just been missing,” manager Jim Leyland said.
Cabrera tied his career high in homers set last year. He briefly moved with six of Chris Davis’ AL lead before Davis hit his 51st home run minutes later. With 11 games left, Cabrera would need a miraculous finish to make up that kind of gap, even if Davis didn’t hit another home run the rest of the way. At this point, a third consecutive batting title looks like his eventual crown.
The big-picture goal, getting Cabrera back in form for the postseason, seems more attainable than it did even just a few days ago. He has been moving around better on his own, even dancing a bit around the clubhouse, in recent days. The only time he seemed noticeably hampered moving around was when he charged in from third on Michael Saunders’ fifth-inning bunt.
“I think that’s the only play [where] I’ve got problems right now,” Cabrera said. “The rest I feel very good.”