Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
Last Wednesday Miguel Cabrera was facing hard-throwing Cleveland Indians rookie Danny Salazar in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on. The Indians led the Tigers 3-2 and Salazar had struck out Cabrera three times -- looking on an 88 mph changeup swinging on a 99 mph fastball at the letters and then swinging again on a 100 mph fastball on the outside corner that left Cabrera awkwardly spinning in the dirt at home plate. So Terry Francona let Salazar face Cabrera a fourth time. He had thrown 102 pitches. The fans at Progressive Field rose to their feet sensing the drama of the moment a potentially defining showdown of the Indians’ season. “This is the game right here baby” said the Indians broadcaster. Salazar’s 103rd pitch was a 96 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and Cabrera crushed it to dead center field 427 feet away -- 427 feet of misery for Cleveland fans the rookie craning his neck as the ball flew out into the night his face eventually contorting into a confused look of shock. Don’t worry Danny you’re not the only one who hasn’t solved Mr. Cabrera. Two nights later Cabrera hit a two-run game-tying homer to center off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning the seventh pitch of an epic confrontation. He homered on Saturday off Phil Hughes. He homered again off Rivera on Sunday. Monday night he lined a first-pitch 96 mph fastball from Chris Sale over the fence in right his fourth homer in four games and fifth in six games (although the White Sox did beat the Tigers 6-2). Not that we haven’t been asking this question all season but how are you supposed to get this guy out? You thought he was pretty good last year when he won the Triple Crown and the MVP Award but Cabrera has somehow raised his game. He may not win the Triple Crown this season -- Chris Davis leads him in home runs 43 to 37 -- but he’s better and it’s not even that close.
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