Miguel Cabrera’s legendary stand off with Mariano Rivera
The Detroit Tigers are ready to duke it out against the New York Yankees in a three-game homestand at Comerica Park.
Whenever the New York Yankees roll into Detroit, I always go back to the game in 2017 where Miguel Cabrera fought Austin Romine, the benches cleared THREE times, and eight different players and coaches were ejected.
But, if there’s an event more exciting than that, it’s “Miggy-watch” as veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera is just five hits away from being the 33rd player in Major League Baseball to knock 3,000 hits.
It just seems like some of the Tigers best moments stem from laying a smackdown on the Yankees. Like in 2012, when Detroit swept the Bronx Bombers in the ALCS.
Today happens to be Miggy’s 39th birthday, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by reminiscing about one of THE at bats that will go down as historic between two of the best players baseball has seen.
Rewind to August 9, 2013, where fans witnessed the stand-off of a lifetime between Miguel Cabrera and Yankees legend, all-time saves leader, and Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. Miggy readies in the batter’s box in the top of the ninth inning of a packed Yankee’s stadium. Rivera had already punched out two batters, but with Cabrera at the plate, he won’t go down without a fight.
At this point, the Yankees were ready to close out a 3-1 win over the Tigers, but Miggy obviously had other plans with a runner already on base. Cabrera ended up victorious over Rivera, taking a seven pitch at bat, knocking a fastball deep into center field for a two-run home run to tie the game.
It’s obvious Rivera thought he had Miggy fooled, his reaction says it all. But you can’t count Miggy out, especially when it matters most. Even if he had to hobble around the bases to do it.
Rivera and Miggy faced off for round two on August 11, 2013, in the top of the ninth, with no outs and the Tigers trailing the Yankees 4-2. Once again, Miggy blasted a dinger off Rivera, and Victor Martinez followed with a home run of his own. For the first time in Rivera’s electric career, he lost three saves in a row, giving up home runs to Cabrera in consecutive at-bats.
As a fan, these are the games that make baseball entertaining to watch, and I can only hope it’s a glimpse of what’s to come for this series too.
Lefty Tyler Alexander will start the series on the bump for the Tigers against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. According to Rotowire, in 13 at bats against Cole, Cabrera is slashing a career .077/.143/.077 with just one hit and six strikeouts.
So far this season Cabrera is slugging .345 with a .333 OBP, with eight hits, two doubles, and three RBI, to bring him to his 2,995 career hit total.
If Cabrera’s at bats are anything like those against Rivera, he’s well on pace to notch the hits needed to join the elite ranks in baseball history.
I always say, “it’s a good day when the Yankees lose,” but it would be even sweeter if Miguel Cabrera reaches that milestone against the pinstripes this series.