Prior to the Tigers' three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins, Caberera wasn't hitting the ball like the All-Star pitcher-slayer we've been accustomed to seeing. In fact, he went through a 19 at-bat streak in which he had just two extra-base hits - both doubles - and no RBI. But Cabrera's towering, 421-foot blast to center at Target Field will have Tigers fans forgetting about that slump, at least for the time being.
Down 3-2 in the top of the ninth, Cabrera did what Tigers fans have been waiting for: He hit the cover off the ball. And to top it off, the longball proved to be the game-winner Sunday, dumping the Twins 4-3.
Ending a slump on a high-note like that never hurts.
Now, Cabrera's shot isn't enough to fully excuse his lack of recent power. He's far too productive of a hitter to bang out singles. He's a home-run hitter; an extra-base getting machine - and he probably always will be. But it's funny how one swing of the bat can make us forget all the one-baggers and reflect on just how powerful the Tigers' thirdbaseman really is.
Cabrera unknowingly helped out his skipper, Jim Leyland. The Tigers have left men on base, and lots of them. Detroit stranded 30 against the Cleveland Indians, all but ensuring a three-game sweep. Sunday, the Tigers left 10 runners with nowhere to go. Cabrera had to come through - sweeter dreams for Leyland may be ahead.
"I was having nightmares during that game, because we're just leaving those guys on out there," Leyland said.
Amidst all the commotion, mishaps and confusion, the Tigers needed something positive to help get them away from their seesaw-like tailspin. Winning three games in a row has been a rare feat in Detroit. So, enjoy it, Tigers fans. However, Cabrera's response to a question about his homer was refreshing, maybe more so than the actual win.
"We're here to win games, not here for personal numbers," Cabrera said. "If you think about that, you put pressure on yourself."
No self-pats on the back, no gloating - just what fans wanted to hear. Cabrera is having a great season, highlighted by 40 RBI, second-most in the bigs behind Texas Rangers phenom Josh Hamilton, who is having an absolutely incredible year and leads MLB with 53 RBI.
Cabrera is a player that will have to play out of his mind if the Tigers (23-24) are to regain the lead in the American League Central. Detroit is three games behind the Indians, a half-game behind the Chicago White Sox - but a couple more games like Cabrera had Sunday could quickly erase that deficit.
Adam Biggers has followed MLB for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Tigers. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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