Miguel Cabrera can affect a ballgame in a whole lot of ways, but who knew he could change a game by complaining?
When Trevor Bauer’s first pitch to Miggy sailed high, and not terribly far inside, Cabrera began jawing towards the Indians’ dugout and manager Terry Francona. When the inning ended, Cabrera walked from first base towards the Tribe dugout before warnings were issued to both benches.
Francona maintained that the pitch was high, but not inside, and that is shown as fact by BaseballSavant.
From that point, Bauer’s approach changed, depending on who you asked. The inability to really work inside after the warnings was stripped, and the Tigers took advantage in the 2nd and the 5th.
“I would say it did,” Francona said of Bauer’s change in approach. “The at-bat Miggy hit the home run, you can tell that (Bauer) was sitting out over the plate. He’s a good enough hitter he knows what to do with it.”
Bauer said postgame that there was nothing that changed.
“I still executed the game plan, I executed it really well,” the starter argued. “I don’t really know that I’ve ever seen warnings been issued when no one’s been hit, no one’s been thrown at, but it’s what they decided to do.”
If the game plan was to generally stay away, not a bad plan more times than not, Bauer did execute, as can be seen by his pitch chart against righties (1) and lefties (2)
All in all, Bauer gave Cabrera his due, coupled with some not-so-veiled barbs.
“It’s what he is looking to do,” Bauer said. “Can’t hit the pitch in. When you throw in there, it either doesn’t get called a strike or check-swings, takes a full swing, gets called a ball, gets upset. I don’t know. He’s one of the best hitters in the game, so he gets some of those calls.”
Does momentum exist in baseball? When you have lost five of your last six, it kind of has to, one way or the other.
When you finish a night 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position following a stretch over a week where you were 2-of-36, you have to roll something over into the next game, especially when it finished with a pinch hit grand slam.
After what has been an abysmal start at home offensively, the Indians finished their 7-6 loss to the Tigers by going 6-of-12 from the 8th inning on, with 3 BB and 5 RBI, including Chisenhall’s Slam.
“On a frustrating night, or a frustrating week, I was glad we fought back,” Francona said. “That’s a trait that I think our guys have been good at. We didn’t win tonight, but we have won a few of those, and if we do that more, we’ll win another one of those.”
Where they ain’t
3B Yandy Diaz came into the night second in baseball (70.8%) in Hard-Hit%, measuring balls put into play with an exit velocity of 105 mph or more, trailing only Detroit’s Nick Castellanos, according to Fangraphs.
Diaz also led the league in hard-hit outs, obviously detailing what percentage of the former percentage created outs.
Diaz only put two balls in play on Friday night, the first of which was a lineout at 107.4 mph with a hit-percentage of 77%. The other was hit so hard that some in press box believe it did not register on StatCast because the application could not compute the speed.
The latter was a single in the 9th, and Diaz’s first career major league RBI.