Detroit Tigers sweep Pittsburgh Pirates
It has not been an easy start to the season for the Detroit Tigers, who find themselves struggling to remain competitive in the American League Central division. They are currently in fourth place in the division with an abysmal 23-33 record.
Despite their woes though, the Tigers managed to pull off an important two-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are hoping it will be the spark they need to help turn around their campaign. The 39-year-old Miguel Cabrera came up big for his club in the eighth inning on Wednesday against the Pirates, cashing in the winning run on a single.
“There’s 3,000-plus hits there,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said of Cabrera following his team’s victory, via the Detroit News. “He’s incredible in these big moments.”
Since May 22nd, Cabrera is hitting .346 with six RBIs. Even more impressive is the fact that three of those RBIs have either tied or won the game in the eighth inning or later for Detroit.
“He doesn’t try to do too much,” Hinch reflected. “He gets a pitch and he hits the ball hard. He’s an incredible hitter still to this day.”
The veteran has been with the Tigers since the organization traded for him on December 5th, 2007. They sent pitchers Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Burke Badenhop, outfielder Cameron Maybin, and catcher Mike Rabelo to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The deal seems to have worked out well for the Tigers, even 15 years later.
It wasn’t all Cabrera though on Wednesday, with center fielder Bryan Reynolds also completing a ridiculous catch to help keep his team in the game.
“That’s a pivotal play in a close game,” Hinch said of the catch. “To the naked eye, that’s 50-50 on what happens. We knew they’d called him out. We got a quick decision (from the clubhouse video room) which was key and we challenged it.
“But even when the replay showed up on the big board, I wasn’t 100 percent sure they were going to be able to overturn it.”
The 26-year-old Alex Faedo got the start for the Tigers, allowing one run over five innings to give his team an opportunity to win the ball game. He has now made seven starts since being called up from Triple-A Toledo.
“Alex was good, and really good early,” Hinch commented. “I loved how he responded to not having the lead anymore. He hung in there and won some big at-bats and he had plenty in the tank when I took him out. It was nice to see him put up another big outing.”
The rookie pitcher earned a career-high with seven strikeouts during his outing on Wednesday as well.
“It’s definitely cool to look back on that after the game,” Faedo remarked. “But I’m not going to overthink it. I’m just going to try to do my thing and try to execute and stay ahead of hitters. It’s obviously cool to see.
“It’s really cool for my family to see. They sent me a couple of things to my phone. They are excited for me. But it just tells me I’ve been consistent and giving these guys a chance to win.”
The Tigers have not qualified for the postseason since 2014 and desperate to get back to being a playoff team.