Miguel Cabrera will try to make history during the Detroit Tigers’ six-game homestand, which begins against Cleveland on Friday.
Cabrera is one homer shy of 500 for his career. He hit 499 against Baltimore on Wednesday and manager A.J. Hinch planned to play him on Thursday afternoon, then had a change of heart.
“I really wanted to play him, but when I got back into the clubhouse and the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t feel good about it,” Hinch said. “I see what Miggy has to do to prepare himself. It was close to midnight and he’s in the tub and getting his postgame treatment. I took a shower, went back to the hotel and I still didn’t feel good about it. I told myself I was going to sleep on it. When I woke up this morning, I decided.”
Hinch’s decision to sit Cabrera certainly made the team’s fans happy. The Tigers expect big crowds in anticipation of Cabrera making history.
“I had no idea if it could happen (Thursday), but everybody back in Detroit, I want them to be a part of it,” he said. “I can get caught up in wanting it to happen as soon as possible. I have no idea if it can happen over the homestand. … I’m hoping he proves us right to hit it at home in front of our fans and hit it in a win.”
While all eyes will be on Cabrera, outfielder Jacob Robson will have a special moment of his own. Called up from Triple-A Toledo on Thursday, Robson is expected to make his first start on Friday. He made his major-league debut on Thursday, entering the team’s 6-4 win over Baltimore in midstream, and went hitless in two at-bats.
Tyler Alexander (2-1, 4.35 ERA) will start on the mound for Detroit. He held Cleveland scoreless in 5 1/3 innings on Saturday while collecting his first win since July 4. In eight career outings against the Indians, he’s 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA.
Zach Plesac (6-4, 4.84 ERA) faced the Tigers on Sunday and got a no-decision while allowing five runs (four earned) on two hits and walking three batters in four innings.
Plesac is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA in six career starts against Detroit.
Cleveland was swept in a three-game series by Oakland this week, including a 17-0 thumping on Thursday. The Tigers, who swept a three-game series from Baltimore, have passed the Indians for second place in the American League Central Division standings.
“They put the bat on the ball,” Indians acting manager DeMarlo Hale said of the A’s. “Try to turn the page as quickly as possible and on to Detroit.”
The Indians were limited to three hits on Thursday, while five pitchers surrendered 14 hits and 10 walks.
“We’re just trying to stretch as much as we can to get outs,” Hale said. “It got to the point where we were trying to get outs and get through this.”
Cleveland leads the season series 10-6 and took two of three from Detroit last weekend.
–Field Level Media