Miggy Mashes His 500th Bomb
History often happens when it's least expected.
Miggy's swing looked pretty bad on a heater, so maybe Matz and battery mate Alejandro Kirk thought a hitter of Cabrera's caliber was setting them up to throw another one.
For whatever reason, they decided to go with a changeup.
The Blue Jays' game prep surely figured they had a line on Cabrera:
- The Venezuelan had gone 4-31 since he drilled Dinger No 499, and
- He hadn't even hit a ball in the air over the previous three games.
It seemed like every indication showed the Detroit Tiger veteran was pressing, and maybe he was.
But not on the changeup. From the moment the delivery left Matz's hand, it became clear Miggy was on it. Dude got full barrel, too:
A couple of seasons ago, this occasion was deemed inevitable. Then the years seemed to be catching up with his body, and the Covid-19 pandemic added another impediment.
Cabrera finished 2016 with 446 bombs. Since then his numbers cratered:
- 2017 ... 16
- 2018 ... 3
- 2019 ... 12
- 2020 ... 10 in 57 games
He found his stroke again this year, clouting 12 already to set the stage in TO.
Statcast measured Cabrera's home run at 400feet and had an exit velocity of 104.1mph.
He's the 28th player in the game's annals to go bridge 500 times and only the third -- with Albert Pujols (2014) and David Ortiz (2015) -- to do so in the Spin Era. He's also the first to do hit that milestone in a Tiger uniform, which has been a part of MLB for 121 seasons, now.
Maybe batting average isn't trendy anymore, but still, his career .311 -- and counting -- along with the 500 bombs puts him in an even more exclusive club:
Only four players in that group have a higher career average:
The next club he'll join -- most likely next season -- will be the 500 homers + 3000 hits crew:
Yes. Yes it does.
The late Mike Ilitch, the Detroit pizza billionaire who owned the Red Wings and Tigers franchises, knew the back end of Cabrera's contract would basically be a thank you for what you've done here bonus, but his logic was understandable.
OG was rewarding Miggy for ...
- 4 batting titles,
- the first Triple Crown in 45 years, and
- 2 MVP seasons.
He was intent on Cabrera entering the Hall of Fame in Tigers colors. That'll happen.