On the first day of a three-game series, Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate against New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. With one hit needed for his 3,000th career strikeout, he put on an elaborate show of batting practice and then took six pitches before intentionally walking him by throwing behind him as he left the batter’s box.
The “Miguel Cabrera, needing 1 hit for 3,000 milestone, intentionally walked by New York Yankees” is a story about Miguel Cabrera and the New York Yankees. Cabrera needed one hit to reach the 3,000 milestone in his career. The Yankees intentionally walked him because they did not want to face him.
After a contentious free pass, Miguel Cabrera’s quest for baseball immortality will continue for at least one more day.
Cabrera was intentionally walked in the eighth inning of the Detroit Tigers’ 3-0 win against the New York Yankees on Thursday, needing just one hit to become the 33rd player in big league history with 3,000 hits.
Cabrera’s fourth and final plate appearance of the day came after he flew out in the first and struck out in both of his subsequent at-bats.
With two outs in the eighth inning, Cabrera was scheduled to bat again, but the Yankees and manager Aaron Boone chose to intentionally walk the two-time MVP, stacking the bases and setting up a left-right duel between Detroit’s Austin Meadows and New York’s Lucas Luetge.
Boone defended his choice, calling it a “baseball call for me,” albeit admitting it was “a bit more gut-wrenching than normal.”
Cabrera, on the other hand, expressed little disappointment after the game, telling reporters that “it’s baseball” and noted that he has missed three prior opportunities to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.
“I improved my on-base %!” When Cabrera was questioned about being walked, he laughed. “We also managed to score two runs. That is the allure of baseball. I’d rather go 0-for-3 and watch my team win than go 0-for-3 and watch them lose.”
AJ Hinch, the Tigers’ manager, concurred with his star player, stating he had “zero doubt” the Yankees would choose to deliberately walk Cabrera.
“[Boone’s] responsibility is to himself and his team’s chances of winning,” he stated. “He’d gotten the matchup he wanted behind Miggy. As a result, you were forewarned. I understand why our supporters reacted the way they did, but I completely understand.”
The fans at Comerica Park, though, was not pleased with Cabrera’s deliberate walk, booed and screaming “Yankees suck” as he accepted his free pass to first base. Meadows blooped a two-run double to give Detroit a 3-0 lead, turning the boos into applause.
“I felt like the left-on-left matchup was a little bit better in that circumstance, and it came down to a baseball decision for me there,” Boone said. “It was a tough call, and I felt Lucas made a good pitch and got the soft contact, but [Meadows] threw it in there. It was a difficult decision, but one I had to make.”
While Cabrera’s 236th intentional walk was tactically smart, it elicited some of the harshest booing heard at a Tigers game since Comerica Park opened in 2000.
Cabrera held up his hands as the inning came to a close, as if to signal to the 21,529 fans in attendance that he was satisfied with the outcome. He then raised three fingers to the scoreboard, indicating the number of runs his side had scored.
According to MLB.com, Cabrera added, “I realize history is incredibly significant.” “However, we must first win. It has nothing to do with me. It’s all about the group.”
Cabrera’s next opportunity to get 3,000 hits will come on Friday, when the Tigers host the Colorado Rockies in the first game of a three-game home series.
Cabrera said, “I was pretty emotional in the first at-bat.” “That’s why I’m wearing shades today. Today was a very emotional day for me. Hopefully, my at-bats tomorrow will be better, and I’ll get a hit and win the game.”
Cabrera, 39, is seeking to become the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 3,000 hits and smash 500 home runs. He’d also become the first Venezuelan-born player and the eighth Latino player to hit 3,000 hits, joining Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Rod Carew, as well as Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, and Albert Pujols on the list.
The Associated Press and ESPN’s Marly Rivera contributed to this story.
Miguel Cabrera, needing 1 hit for 3,000 milestone, intentionally walked by New York Yankees. Reference: miguel cabrera 500 home runs.
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