CHICAGO -- The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera has been in the Major Leagues for 14 years. He has 11 All-Star selections, four batting titles, two Most Valuable Player awards and a Triple Crown on his resume. He still gets frustrated when a well-hit ball ends up in a glove."This game's about
CHICAGO -- The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera has been in the Major Leagues for 14 years. He has 11 All-Star selections, four batting titles, two Most Valuable Player awards and a Triple Crown on his resume. He still gets frustrated when a well-hit ball ends up in a glove.
"This game's about results," he said.
That will never change. But he also doesn't despair at a hitting slump.
After an 8-for-44 funk led some to panic, Cabrera's four-hit game in Friday's 7-5 win over the White Sox was a reminder why he's been this good for this long. While his go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning -- his second go-ahead hit in as many nights -- pushed him over 1,500 RBIs for his career, it was also his ninth hit in his last 12 at-bats. It also pushed his season average back to .300.
"It was just a matter of time," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I know a lot of people, when a player goes into a funk, want to write him off. But you have to remember the resume that he carries. He's been doing it for a long time. It was just a matter of time before he started getting hits."
Cabrera became the eighth player in Major League history to reach 1,500 RBIs and 400 home runs by the end of his 14th Major League season. But no sooner was the milestone accomplished than he was ready to move on.
"We have another game tomorrow," he said. "We have to be ready tomorrow and see what happens. One game, you struggle. Another game, you don't struggle. It's baseball."
Cabrera's go-ahead home run in Thursday's 2-1 win over the White Sox was his first home run since June 29, and his second extra-base hit in that span. At the same time, he had been showing signs of better swings and better results in recent days, including his previous at-bats Thursday.
White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie robbed him on a line drive up the middle in the third inning and nearly turned a double play. Cabrera put his hands on his head in exasperation after that.
No matter. He hears the buzz about career decline that follows a slump, but he can't worry about it.
"You have to go out there and try to do your job," Cabrera said. "That's it. Hopefully we can do our jobs."
He did that Thursday with his 427th career homer, tying him with new Hall of Famer Mike Piazza for 47th in Major League history. Another Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken Jr., is next on the list with 431.
One night later, he had his fourth four-hit game of the season, and hit four different pitchers to do it. The big test, however, was Nate Jones, who had held Cabrera 2-for-12 with three strikeouts in their previous meetings. That's why Robin Ventura went to the hard-throwing right-hander after Carson Fulmer loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh.
Jones put Cabrera in an 0-2 count with 98 mph fastballs, then tried to get Cabrera to chase sliders to no avail. With a 2-2 count, Jones went back to the fastball. Cabrera lashed it through the middle on the ground.
It was actually his first hit with the bases loaded this season; he had been 0-for-10 with six strikeouts.
"He's swinging the bat better," Ausmus said, "but the concentration level's there too. You can see it in his face. I always feel good about him when he's at the plate."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.