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Miguel Cabrera Needs 100 Hits in 100 Games

On Friday night, Miguel Cabrera was 0-for-3 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning. He was set to lead off as the Tigers trailed, 4-2. After taking the first pitch for a ball, the game was stopped due to rain. Liam Hendriks was not happy that he was out there pitching in what looked like a down pour. The game was stopped for a rain delay after the umpires decided to bring the tarp out to cover the infield. Cabrera, sitting at 2,900 hits at that point, needed 100 hits to join the 3,000 hit club. At the start of the night, the Tigers had played 62 games. That would mean the Tigers have 100 more games to play this season. The goal is simple: 100 hits in 100 games.

After the rain delay, Cabrera hit a single to right field. Cabrera was then replaced for pinch runner Willi Castro. That hit, off Liam Hendriks, was the 2,901st of his career and would spark a rally. Daz Cameron would hit a two-run home run later in the inning to tie the game and send it into extra innings. This was Daz Cameron’s first major league home run. He is the son of former major league All Star Mike Cameron. Daz was also one of the players that Detroit received in the trade with Houston for Justin Verlander.

In extra innings, the White Sox would score a run without getting a hit. This is due to the new extra inning rules where a runner is placed at second base to start each half inning. The White Sox capitalized by being able to get the ball to the outfield and advance the runners with fly ball outs. Yermin Mercedes hit a fly ball to centerfield that allowed Danny Mendick to tag up and get to third base. The next batter, Yoan Moncada, hit a sacrifice fly to left-center that allowed Mendick to tag and score.

Detroit could not get the ball out of the infield in the bottom of the 10th as Robbie Grossman and Harold Castro struck out swinging. Jonathan Schoop, who has been hitting the ball well the last 18 games, hit a hard grounder to second base that was fielded cleanly by Mendick and thrown to Jose Abreu for the out to end the game.

With the Tigers’ loss on Friday, they dropped to a record of 26-37 for the year. Sixty-three games are now in the books, and Cabrera needs 99 hits in 99 games. So can Miguel Cabrera get to 3,000 hits this year? Let’s take a look.

Reasons That Cabrera Will Not Get to 3,000 Hits This Season:

  1. Lack of Games and/or At Bats. The Tigers may have 99 games to go, but the likelihood that Cabrera plays in all 99 of them is very slim. He also gets lifted late in games for a pinch runner when he gets on base. This will limit his plate appearances in games that are close and go into extra innings. There is also a chance that a game gets rained out and is not made up by the end of the year.
  2. Lack of Production at the Plate. It is safe to say that Cabrera has not had the season that Tigers fans would have liked him to have so far this year. For much of the season, Cabrera has been hitting below a .200 batting average. After hitting 10 home runs last year in 57 games, there was hope that Cabrera would keep up that pace and have a 25+ home run year with a batting average over .250. Right now, that seems to be out of reach as Cabrera sits at 5 home runs with a .203 batting average.
  3. Injuries and Age. Up until 2018, Cabrera had at least 500 plate appearances in 14 straight seasons. He was able to play just about every day. Now that Cabrera is 38 years old, it is not a given that he will make it through the year without a stint on the injured list. He was already placed on the injured list once this year. If he ends up on it again, that will definitely push his pursuit to 3,000 hits into next season.

Reasons That Cabrera Could Get to 3,000 Hits This Season:

  1. Better Production as of Late. After the May 5th game at Boston, Cabrera had a .098 batting average and had the worst hitless streak of his career. Since then, he has 29 hits in 111 at-bats for a .261 batting average and has 3 home runs. If the upward trend continues, he could end up with close to a .250 batting average on the season.
  2. Teams Are Not Afraid To Pitch To Him. There was a time when Cabrera was pitched around and didn’t get too many good pitches to hit on certain occasions. While he still is someone you don’t want to throw a mistake pitch to, he has not been intentionally walked all season. As long as he is in the lineup, he should get his share of pitches to try to hit. This will help his chances of possibly getting to 3,000 hits this season.
  3. Eye of the Tiger. It is safe to say that Miguel Cabrera is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Every player that has 2,900 hits or more is in the Hall of Fame barring any steroid or gambling controversies. Whether or not you like Cabrera, there is no denying that he wants to perform at a high level. Knowing that he is so close to becoming the first player to hit his 500th home run and 3,000th hit in the same season, he may turn it up a notch. As the weather warms up, he may be able to get some multi-hit games and get back on track. Back in February he told reporters, “I hope I can get to 500, 3,000 this year. It’s one of my goals this year. Mentally, I feel good. I feel mentally strong. I’m trying to go day by day and trying to play hard.”

The aura of 500 home runs is not what it used to be. It has been diminished the past 20 years due to multiple players reaching that level in a short period of time and many tainted by steroid controversy. However, the club of 500 home runs/3,000 hits is very small. Only six players have reached both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits: Henry Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, and Eddie Murray.

None of those six players reached both the 500 home run and 3000 hit milestone in the same season. It will be something to look forward to if Cabrera continues to stay in the lineup and get at least one hit per game.

Best case scenario: In 2019, Cabrera recorded 139 hits in 136 games. His batting average for the season was .282. With that being said, Cabrera needs to have a batting average close to .282 over the next 100 team games in order to get to 3,000 hits. For every game that he either doesn’t play in or get a hit in, he will need to get two hits the next day to make up for it.

One other milestone on the horizon: Cabrera has 4,995 Total Bases in his career. Five more Total Bases and he will become the 22nd player in history with 5,000.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hugs Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a single in the 7th inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 04, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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