Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Tigers are trying to get over the hump and beat the Indians for only the second time this season (GameTracker). Detroit is an unfathomable 1-13 against the Tribe in 2016. That head-to-head record is a huge reason why the Indians are in the first and the Tigers are eight games out.
The Tigers are in the wild card race right now thanks in large part to Miguel Cabrera, who is having yet another MVP caliber season at the plate. Cabrera came into Sunday with a .308/.384/.545 (151 OPS+) batting line and 33 home runs. Ho hum, another Miggy-like season. Like clockwork.
Cabrera reached a major milestone in the inning of Sunday’s game, when he ripped an opposite field single against Indians righty Trevor Bauer. It was the 2,500th hit of Cabrera’s career. To the action footage:
It can be easy to forget Miggy is still only 33 years old because he’s been around so long. He originally came up as a 20-year-old with the 2003 Marlins and had instant success. His worst MLB season was the 109 OPS+ he put up as a rookie that season. Cabrera has never dipped below a 130 OPS+ in the 13 years since. Incredible.
As you can imagine, not many players have reached the 2,500 hit plateau at Cabrera’s age. In fact, he’s only the eighth player to reach the milestone no later than his age 33 season. Here’s are the eight and their hit total through age 33 via the amazing Baseball-Reference.com Play Index:
- Ty Cobb: 2,856
- Rogers Hornsby: 2,705
- Hank Aaron: 2,618
- Robin Yount: 2,602
- Alex Rodriguez: 2,531
- Mel Ott: 2,528
- Jimmie Foxx: 2,516
- Miguel Cabrera: 2,500 and counting
That list is Cabrera, six inner-circle Hall of Famers, and another guy who would be an inner-circle Hall of Famer without performance-enhancing drug ties. Cabrera is keeping some pretty great company, huh?
Even with some age-related decline, Miggy has a good chance to reach 3,000 hits before the end of the 2018 season. Perhaps early 2019 is a safer bet, but late 2018 isn’t out of the question. Either way, Cabrera is going to get there eventually, and when it’s all said and done, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the history of baseball.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / WATCH: Miguel Cabrera becomes eighth player to reach 2,500 hits by age 33 season