The Detroit Tigers have not been short of cool moments as of late and Friday night was no exception. Miguel Cabrera hit home runs 490 and 491 against the Kansas City Royals; the latter of which was a grand slam to put the team ahead.
The home runs put him two away from tying Fred McGriff and Lou Gehrig for 28th on the all-time list. His three hits on the night also put him 40 hits away from Al Simmons on the all-time hits list, who is 40th in history.
Cabrera led off the scoring in the second inning against Royals left-handed starter Mike Minor:
The ball left the bat at 111.3 mph and went 417 ft to left-center field.
The Royals would storm back against starter Jose Urena, though, and after a 105.2 mph groundout and an 87.2 mph single by Cabrera, he hit a grand slam off of Greg Holland in the seventh:
The slam scores Schoop, Rogers, and Grossman and put the Tigers ahead by two runs. The ball went 101.2 mph off the bat and traveled 405 ft to the same area his first homer went to.
It is encouraging to see Cabrera pull the ball, especially on outside pitches where we are typically used to the vintage Miggy opposite-field approach. Hinch has spoken publicly about his desire for Cabrera to start to pull the ball and get the bat head out in front a bit more.
Most have come to accept that Miguel Cabrera is not who he once was. He has gone through spurts this season where it was fair to question his playing time–but glimmers like Friday night give fans flashbacks to his prime.
The chase for 3,000 hits and 500 home runs continues. He’ll need a blistering pace to get the hits, but with two home runs tonight and now 491 on the year, the 500th home run ball seems more likely to fly over a fence in 2021 than not.