DETROIT -- Home-run sluggers make headlines, and batting averages have defined hitters dating all the way back to Detroit Tigers immortal Ty Cobb.
The Triple Crown statistic that musters the least attention and acclaim is runs batted in -- the RBI or ribbie, in the vernacular of the game.
Most of the games outstanding hitters, however, will tell you that the RBI is the most important offensive statistic in baseball.
Knocking in runs means more than anything else you can do, said Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who in 2012 became baseballs first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. To win games, you have got to score enough runs to support your pitchers.
"Look at what we did yesterday. (Justin) Verlander gave up two runs, and we lost, 2-1. Then we scored nothing in the next game and lose, 3-0.
Cabrera was describing the doubleheader loss to the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on Aug. 16. He didnt knock in one run in those games after registering 16 RBIs in the previous 10 ...