Cabrera's torrid hitting continues amid Tigers' woes
Never does he show extended signs of slowing down, of being bothered by age, or old injuries, or conditions that affect other mortals.
Miguel Cabrera simply hits. And hits. And hits.
He had three more of his specialties Tuesday night in an 8-7 loss to the Angels at Comerica Park. A pair of singles followed his big blow: a third-inning, bases-clearing double that knocked in three runs.
Two batters later, Cabrera scored on J.D. Martinez's single and the Tigers had gone from a 4-0 hole to a 4-4 tie.
His 3-for-5 night gave him a 10-game hitting streak in which Cabrera is batting .537, with a home run, and nine doubles. Tuesday's demolition was the latest in a string of seven consecutive multi-hit games.
He is now batting a gaudy .371 and, if his health cooperates, could be headed for a fourth batting title in his past five seasons.
Cabrera, though, wasn't interested in discussing his hitting after Tuesday's punch-out by the Angels, the Tigers' fifth consecutive tumble. Nor was he about to lay a losing streak on his cohorts.
"I'm going to be honest," Cabrera said, "if I see somebody not wanting to play hard, or I see somebody not doing their work before the game, I'm going to be the first to tell the guy: 'What's going on?'
"But we do everything to prepare and we do everything we can to go out there and win games.
"I see everybody talk, everybody want to push and want to have a winning streak. But if you want a winning streak, you have to win one game at a time.
"Win one game."
One game, one victory, would be appreciated by a Tigers team that is now 59-66 and slipping closer to oblivion in 2015, even as Cabrera crafts another hitting virtuoso.
Victor Martinez's bat once upon a time was the war club, in tandem with Cabrera's, the Tigers could count on to break up games and deliver those precious two-out hits.
But it hasn't been happening for Martinez, whose 2015 season has been something of a washout since he damaged his left knee last winter.
He is batting only .255 since he rejoined the Tigers June 19 following a second long stint on the shelf, all brought about by his torn left knee.
That .255 is 51 points beneath the .306 career batting average Martinez owned ahead of 2015.
It's not only because his 2015 issues have been so pronounced that Martinez's sad season has gouged the Tigers. He is 36 years old and is one season into a $68 million contract that lasts through the 2018 season.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday, after Martinez had left runners galore on base, that the Tigers had considered moving him deeper into the order.
But that move, Ausmus explained, would leave the Tigers with a steady stream of mid-order, right-handed bats. The switch-hitting Martinez at least prevents a match-up banquet for opposing managers.
It hasn't been of great benefit. Martinez's issues have been part and parcel of a Tigers offense that, for all its big nights and games, too often falls short, and often for lack of the big hit that was previously Martinez's trademark.
Jered Weaver, who had a scrape with Carlos Guillen and the Tigers during a momentous 2011 game at Comerica Park, is never terribly far, it seems, from snorts or grimaces or irritants.
And it's not always the opposing team that irks him.
He was not happy with his Angels outfield in the Tigers' four-run third after Anthony Gose's fly ball to right-center fell between right fielder Kole Calhoun and L.A.'s venerable man in center, Mike Trout.
The ball appeared to be Trout's all the way. Which apparently was Weaver's verdict, as well, as he shouted something inflammatory at Trout and Calhoun.
Weaver later apologized. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times said Angels manager Mike Scioscia had learned Trout lost the ball in Comerica's lights.
Weaver insisted his venom wasn't directed at his teammates.
Ausmus said Anibal Sanchez, who has been gone since Aug. 19 with a strained rotator cuff, has not yet picked up a baseball. His stint on the disabled list ends next week, but there is no sign Sanchez will be ready to pitch any time soon.