Tag Archive: Miguel Cabrera

Displaced at third base by Miguel Cabrera, Tigers veteran Brandon Inge wants to find a way to get playing time.

Brandon Inge will compete for the second base job during spring training. Inge, who turns 35 in May, has never appeared at second base during a game with the Tigers. (B. Calloway photo)

The 34-year old thinks second base could provide the perfect opportunity.
Inge has asked and been granted a chance by manager Jim Leyland to compete for the second base job during spring training. He will compete with Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth for time at the position. Inge has never appeared at second base during a major league game. Inge, who is regarded as one of the better athletes on the Tigers, has played all the outfield positions, third base and catcher during his tenure in Detroit.
If Inge was to win the second base job, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Tigers. Inge at second base could allow the Tigers to make Raburn their everyday left fielder and make Delmon Young their designated hitter. That move would at least strengthen their defense because Raburn can cover more ground in left field and also has a better arm. Raburn did commit six errors in the outfield last season and had a .948 fielding percentage in 72 games playing the outfield, while Young had seven errors, seven assists and a .969 fielding percentage in 115 games.
Regardless if Inge was to adjust adequately defensively to second base, he still must find a way to produce at the plate after hitting .197 last season. Those will likely be the determining factors of how much of Inge we will see this season.


Great birthday: Miguel Cabrera played a key role in Detroit's 8-3 win over the Mariners on Monday at Safeco Field.

The Tigers used another big inning, which was aided by Seattle fielding errors, to open their three-game set with the Mariners with a win. Max Scherzer turned in another quality start for the Tigers and upped his pitching record to 3-0.

Hero: Miguel Cabrera / Brennan Boesch

Cabrera, who was celebrating his 28th birthday, had a key RBI hit on a 3-0 pitch that helped key Detroit’s big inning.

Boesch was also a key component for the Tigers

Key sequence: With the bases loaded, Jhonny Peralta broke the game open with his bases clearing triple

Up next: At Seattle, 10 p.m. Tuesday

Thoughts on game 14 of 162

After struggling to get anything going at the plate for most of Friday’s game, the Tigers bats came alive in the 10th inning. Detroit exploded for seven runs in the inning en route to earning their fourth straight victory and evening their record at 7-7. The win was the 1,500 for Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Clutch hit: Brennan Boesch, who finished 3 for 5, connects for a two-RBI double in the 10th inning of Fridays 8-4 win over the Athletics. (AP)

W: Brayan Villarreal (1-0); L: Brian Fuentes (0-2)

Heroes: Miguel Cabrera / Brennan Boesch

Cabrera rescued the Tigers and helped force extra innings with his solo home run to ninth off A’s closer Brian Fuentes to lead off the ninth. Boesch drove in the go-ahead runs by roping a two-run double to right field on a two-out pitch. Boesch was 3 for 5 to boost his average to .318.

Key sequence: The top of the 10th when the Tigers hitters showed patience. After a lead off single by Alex Avila, Leyland pinch hit Jhonny Peralta for Will Rhymes. Peralta drew a one-out walk and Ryan Raburn followed with a walk to load the bases for Boesch and set up the go-ahead RBI double. The struggling Victor Martinez, who had two hits, also had a big RBI single after the A’s elected to intentionally walk Cabrera to face him.

Making strides: Rick Porcello turned in his best start of the season, giving up just one earned run and seven hits in six innings. He exhibited better control with just one walk while striking out four. Porcello had given up five earned runs in each of his first two starts this season.

Impressive debut: Al Alburquerque was impressive in his major league debut, pitching two scoreless innings. He took over for Porcello in the seventh and kept the Athletics off the board. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three while displaying a strong slider.

Oakland bullpen woes: The Tigers were once again unable to solve the Athletics’ starting pitcher but did do their damage against the bullpen for the second straight contest. Brian Fuentes, who is filling in at closer for the injured Andrew Bailey, blew the save in the ninth by giving  up the tying run on Cabrera’s homer. He also stayed on to pitch part of the 10th and wound up taking the loss. Fuentes gave up six runs (three earned) and two hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Up next: At Oakland, 4 p.m. today

Thoughts on game 11 of 162

Off to a 3-7 start and facing one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Tigers were able to pick up a much needed win. Brad Penny turned in his best outing as a Tiger and Miguel Cabrera knocked in the winning run in the ninth inning to help the Tigers even their three-game series with the Rangers at one apiece. Prior to Tuesday, the Tigers were 0-2 in games decided by two runs or fewer this season.

It's a winner: Miguel Cabrera (right) had the game-winning RBI in Detroit's 5-4 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday. (AP)

Hero: Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera is the Tiger that has been the most consistent at the plate this season. He was the only starting player to get a hit in Monday’s game and he delivered on Tuesday as well. With the bases loaded, he drilled a single to left field that scored Inge and gave the Tigers the win. Cabrera finished 2 for 5 with a double and is batting .385 with 10 RBIs.

Key sequence: The ninth inning when Austin Jackson drew a one-out walk and Ryan Raburn had a two-out walk off of Texas reliever Darren O’Day to load the bases for Cabrera. The Rangers, who intentionally walked Cabrera in the ninth on Monday to bring the go-ahead runner to the plate (Victor Martinez), were forced to pitch to the slugger who delivered.

Penny saver: Brad Penny turned a much-needed strong start for the Tigers. He went 6 2/3 innings and gave up three earned runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out two.  He left the game with a 4-3 lead and in position to get his first win as a Tiger.

Hamilton out: Another possible turning point came in the opening inning when Josh Hamilton was tagged out at home plate while trying to score on a foul fly out that was hit 50 feet from behind the plate. Brandon Inge and catcher Victor Martinez convened to catch the foul. Inge caught it and no one was covering the plate at the time so Hamilton tried to score. Martinez beat Hamilton in the foot race and was tagged out, preventing the Rangers from taking a 2-0 lead. Hamilton also was injured on the play (right shoulder fracture) and it was later discovered the injury-prone reigning AL MVP would miss  six to eight weeks.

Up next: series finale with Rangers, 1 p.m. today

Thoughts on game 10 of 162

Rangers starter Alexi Ogando pitched seven scoreless innings, limiting the Tigers to two hits on Monday (AP).

For the second time in the past three days, the Tigers wasted a solid outing by a starting pitcher with its inability to put together anything offensively. On Monday afternoon, Justin Verlander put together another outstanding start but the offense wasn’t able to do anything in the setback to the Rangers, who are now 9-1. Verlander went the complete game, allowing just six hits, two runs while striking out four.

Hero: Alexi Ogando

In his second career start, the former outfielder who was turned into a pitcher by the Rangers, shut down the Detroit bats. He allowed just two hits and struck out four while pitching seven scoreless innings. Ogando’s start follows an outing in which he limited the Mariners to two hits in six innings. The only Tiger to get a hit off Ogando was Miguel Cabrera.

Key points: The Tigers had a chance to get something going in the fourth after Brennan Boesch drew a leadoff walk and Cabrera followed with a double to put runners on second and third with one out. Victor Martinez then hit a linedrive that Elvis Andrus retreated back to the shallow outfield to catch. He then doubled off Cabrera, who apparently thought the ball would drop in, to end that threat. Martinez also grounded out to end the game against Rangers closer Neftali Feliz with runners on first and second.

The two-run seventh inning for the Rangers obviously was big. Michael Young and Mitch Moreland had RBI doubles to right field for the Rangers.

Slump breaker?: Austin Jackson had the day off because he has been off to a cold start this season. However he entered the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth and had a line drive single to right field. The hit boosted Jackson’s average from .184 to .205. Besides he and Cabrera, Ryan Raburn had the only other hit for the Tigers on Monday.

Santiago time: We have yet to see much of Ramon Santiago this season but perhaps we should. Rhymes filled in in the leadoff spot today for Jackson and went 0 for 4, dropping his average to .182. With him and Jackson getting off to slow starts, that is a good reason to why the Tigers have been sputtering offensively. Santiago has made two starts this season and is 2 for 9 with a double and an RBI.

Thoughts on Game 4 of 162

Is it time to break up the Orioles? Baltimore stayed undefeated on the young season, using pitching and a key home run to earn a 5-1 victory over the Tigers in their home opener on Monday afternoon.

Jake Arrieta held the Tigers to just six hits and one run over six innings to lead Baltimore to a 5-1 victory on Monday. (AP)

Heroes: Jake Arrieta / Brian Roberts

These two were the biggest keys to the victory for the Orioles. Arrieta added to Baltimore’s strong pitching this season, giving up just one earned run in six innings. Arrieta gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Tigers had a few early chances, but stranded two runners on base in each the third and fourth innings.

Roberts put Baltimore in control as his three-run homer with no outs in the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie.

Key points: Roberts three-run blast was obviously a turning point in the contest, but the other key sequence came in the third inning. The Tigers already had scored one run in the third and had a chance for more with Austin Jackson on third and Will Rhymes on second with two outs and reigning American League RBI champion Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera, who it was later revealed had been throwing up between innings during the contest, flied out to left to end the threat.

Stuck on one: Baltimore has allowed just one run in each of its games this season and has gotten quality starts from each of its starters so far this season. Arrieta continued that trend with his outing, following in the steps of Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and rookie Zach Britton.

In the air: While one pitch doomed Tigers starter Rick Porcello on Monday, he struggled to get many ground ball outs like he is accustomed to. In fact he only got one ground ball out in his 5 inning outing. He gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

Not quality: With the Tigers completing their first turn through their rotation (No. 5 starter Phil Coke won’t be joining until next week) they got just one quality start from their starting pitching. A 25 percent ratio isn’t good if the Tigers hope to compete for the AL Central crown. Justin Verlander had the lone quality start through the first turn in the rotation.  Tigers starters have also given up seven homers this season – three of those being three-run shots.

Looking at the positive: Sunday’s day off benefited Will Rhymes, who went 2 for 3 in Monday’s loss. He was the only Tiger with multiple hits, had his first career stolen base and drove in the team’s lone run.

Up next: At Baltimore, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Thoughts on Game 3 of 162

Power duo: Miguel Cabrera (left) and Brennan Boesch combined to drive in eight runs to power the Tigers to their first victory of the season - a 10-7 win over the New York Yankees. (AP)

Heroes: Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera.

Boesch, batting in the 3 spot in place of Magglio Ordonez, and Cabrera combined to drive in eight of the Tigers’ runs (each had four RBIs). Boesch went 4 for 4 with a home run and four runs scored, while Cabrera hit a two-run homer in each of his first two at-bats.

Boesch, who was hot at the end of spring training, could make it hard for Tigers manager to take him out of the lineup with more performances like Sunday. He has shown a little bit of what made him such a dangerous hitter after he was called up in the first half of the 2010 season. If he can continue to put together good outings the Tigers will have a good problem on their hands and have to get creative of finding ways to play him.

Cabrera’s homers were big because they got the  Tigers going. The first gave them an early lead (the Yankees eventually knotted the score at 2 on a Jorge Posada two-run homer) and the second gave the Tigers a lead they didn’t relinquish.

Unsung hero: Ramon Santiago.

Santiago started in place of Will Rhymes, who went hitless in the first two games of the series, and delivered. Santiago finished 2 for 5 with an RBI and had a double off reliever Bartolo Colon.

Fortunate break/key point: After making a spectacular catch to rob Alex Rodriguez of extra bases in the first inning, Ryan Raburn dropped a liner that nearly came back to haunt the Tigers in the third. The error had Nick Swisher on third and Jorge Posada on second with two outs and Curtis Granderson at the plate. Max Scherzer got Granderson to fly out to right field to end the threat. The Yankees had scored a run earlier in the inning on a solo homer by Mark Teixeira

Worse than it appears: Usually giving up four home runs in an outing isn’t conducive to winning baseball, but Max Scherzer was able to pick up a win. Scherzer, who was tagged for 11 earned runs in 2-plus innings in his final spring start, wasn’t as bad as his final line (5 IP, 9 hits, 6 earned runs, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks).  Two of the four home runs would have stayed in most ballparks and been routine outs.

The not so good: The Tigers gave up nine homers in the three-game series, but part of that can be contributed to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium as well as the New York lineup, which is as good as any from top to bottom. The normally slow starting Teixeira homered in each game of the series for the Yankees while DH Posada hit two in Sunday’s game.

Notable: Austin Jackson didn’t have a hit but drew two walks and scored two runs.

Up next: Tigers face Baltimore at 3 p.m. today. The contest is the home opener for the Orioles, who opened their season by sweeping Tampa Bay in a three-game series.