Miggy crushes jaw-dropping homer
Shot to center at Comerica bounces out of camera well
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus claims he's seen Miguel Cabrera hit balls farther.
That may be hard to believe, considering the Tigers' first baseman reached the camera well in center field of Comerica Park with his three-run shot in the sixth inning of Friday's 4-0 win over Cleveland. The home run broke open a scoreless game, and it left Cabrera's teammates in awe.
These were third baseman Nick Castellanos' thoughts: "It's a joke. It's a joke! I can't hit a ball that far from second base. It's just Miggy being Miggy."
Cabrera's blast left his bat at 108.596 mph, had a 23.96 degree launch angle and traveled a projected distance of 448.4 feet, according to Statcast™.
And designated hitter Rajai Davis' take: "Wow. Wow, wow. Those are my words. Wow, wow, wow."
Even Indians manager Terry Francona expressed his wonder: "He's impressive, man. To be as good of a hitter as he is, hit balls like that and hit .330. … Man, I tell you what, I'm sure jealous."
Ausmus, though, remained largely deadpan, saying that he has always "tried not to get too awed" by home runs. The manager explained how he was happiest about the three runs Cabrera's blast scored, which were all David Price needed during a 93-pitch shutout.
"It's not often you see a home run to center that you know is gone off the bat at Comerica Park -- and I think everyone knew it was gone off the bat," Ausmus said.
By his at-bat in the sixth inning, Cabrera had faced Cleveland starter Danny Salazar twice. On both occasions, the right-hander had thrown a first-pitch fastball. In the fourth, Cabrera struck out on a 3-2 heater.
Salazar allowed singles to center fielder Anthony Gose and Davis to lead off the sixth, and Cabrera seemed to be waiting for the fastball, which reached the plate belt-high. Cabrera swung, the crowd roared and Michael Brantley turned to give chase -- but his sprint slowed to a jog when he quickly realized he had no play.
"It's not right," said Tigers catcher James McCann. "It's not fair. I mean, there's hundreds of baseball players that can't hit it that far. I can only imagine what fans think. I wish I could hit it that far."
Cabrera delivered again in the eighth, driving a C.C. Lee fastball into the right-center-field gap to score Ian Kinsler from first base, and Price retired the top of Cleveland's lineup on eight pitches to seal the win.
It was a night in which Price tossed his second straight complete game, and one in which Jose Iglesias, Kinsler and Cabrera combined for what Ausmus called "the best double play I've seen turned -- ever."
But Cabrera's blast may have overshadowed both of those, and even Ausmus appreciated the feat.
"It's not very often you see a ball hit that far," he said, "but it's not surprising to see it come off of Miguel Cabrera's bat."