If Miguel Cabrera isn’t unequivocally the best hitter in baseball, he’s as deep in the conversation as you can be. Through the 2013 season so far, 2012’s Triple Crown winner leads the MLB in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), batting average, and hits, and he’s third in runs scored. And during Sunday’s Tigers loss to the Rangers, Cabrera had one of his best games of the season, going 4-4, including three home runs. Let’s check ‘em out.
3. HOMER ONE
First pitch of his second at-bat of the game: goodbye. Cabrera sees a pitch he likes and annihilates it.
4. HOMER TWO
Cabrera comes up again in the 5th, but Derek Holland gets him down 0-2 right off the bat on two fouls off high fastballs.
But Cabrera waits out two diving breaking balls and another high fastball — pitches a lot of lesser hitters probably would have chased unsuccessfully with two strikes.
And then, with the count full, Holland puts the ball back in the zone, and Cabrera puts it over the center field fence.
7. HOMER THREE
On his third home run, a solo shot that came in the 8th inning with the Tigers trailing by four, Cabrera once again goes down 0-2, this time against Tanner Scheppers. Scheppers is clearly trying to keep the ball down; Cabrera takes a low strike, swings and misses at another low ball, and then lays off a pitch in the dirt.
And then Scheppers misses by a few inches, leaving the ball just a bit higher than he’d probably like. Cabrera unloads. Watch Scheppers drop to one knee as soon as Cabrera makes contact, before he’s even had a chance to turn around and see how far the ball went. He knows what happened.
9. Holland’s reaction to Cabrera’s second home run pretty much says it all:
You can only do so much.
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