Remember when the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols skipped a session with the media following last year’s World Series Game 2 loss to the Rangers and everyone made a big stink about it? Now the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera is traveling that same road.
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Cabrera “was showered, dressed and heading out the door as the media arrived” in the Tigers’ clubhouse after Saturday night’s Game 3 loss to the Giants. Prince Fielder stayed behind to answer questions, as did many of Detroit’s other prominent players. But Cabrera wanted no part.
Here is Crasnick’s take on Miggy’s decision to bolt:
Superstars and team leaders have an obligation to stand at their lockers on good days and bad, and Cabrera failed the leadership test by fleeing the scene and leaving his teammates to face a never-ending assault of questions about the Tigers’ offensive futility.
The leadership angle also got heavy play when Pujols went silent, and it seems a little silly in both cases. Cabrera should have stayed because he’s a professional and speaking with the people who cover his sport is part of the profession, but do his teammates really think less of him because he didn’t want to talk after a third straight World Series loss? Haven’t his teammates already formed their opinions on what kind of guy he is? And don’t they care more about his on-field production than anything? The media has a right to be upset, but to suggest that Cabrera walking out would form some sort of rift in the Detroit clubhouse is, well, projecting.
Pujols went on to crank three home runs the next game. We’ll see what Miggy has in store Sunday night.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.