If there was one player the Detroit Tigers could count on at the plate during the regular season, it was Miguel Cabrera. He was chasing a second straight Triple Crown all season and might have done so if it weren’t for an injury around the time of the All-Star break.
Cabrera has hit one home run in 93 at-bats since August 27. After an impressive streak of eight home runs in 13 games at the beginning of August, he has hit only four since. He has only one double and 10 RBI in the same span.
Cabrera is 3-for-12 against the Oakland Athletics through the first three games of the ALDS, and he has to get the team going at the plate to help the Tigers avoid elimination.
Cabrera isn’t bringing much to the plate defensively either, as his lack of range and errors have already cost the Tigers in the series. They insist on keeping him on the field defensively, despite his injured state.
The Tigers had the opportunity to keep Cabrera in the lineup as a designated hitter, which would require Victor Martinez to play catcher. It would have required a little extra juggling but seemed like it was worth a shot.
Cabrera will have to get it going against Dan Straily in Game 4, who held the Tigers to one run in six innings pitched on August 28. Cabrera is 1-for-3 lifetime against Straily, but he might get some help from the guy ahead of him in the lineup. Torii Hunter is 7-for-10 against Straily with three home runs, so there’s a good chance Cabrera will get to bat with runners on base ahead of him.
Cabrera has the opportunity to prove how good he is, or end the season on a bitter note. Either way, Game 4 will be one of the biggest games he’ll remember when he looks back on 2013.