Tuesday's editorial cartoon in the Detroit News carried the title "Catcher Signs." In the first three panels a hulking catcher calls for a fastball slider and curveball respectively. By the fourth and final panel the catcher has stood up shed his mask and is running out of the frame above a caption that reads "Panic! Cabrera's Up!" Apparently the Twins didn't bother to peruse that part of the local paper before holding on for a 6-3 win over the first-place Detroit Tigers. Otherworldly slugger Miguel Cabrera might be bidding for a second straight triple crown but the Tigers' hobbled third baseman managed nothing more than an opposite-field single in five trips to the plate against Twins pitching. Starter Mike Pelfrey (5-10) got Cabrera the first three times: on a pop up to second and a couple of groundouts to third. That left Cabrera 4 for 17 (.235) in his career against Pelfrey who won for the second time in his past 17 starts. Pelfrey's explanation? Cabrera likes to wait as long as possible before firing his remarkably quick hands through the hitting zone. On nights like Tuesday when Pelfrey's 94-mph sinker is darting late and into right-handed hitters even the great Cabrera can get tied into knots. "He could go 5 for 5 against me next time and those numbers would look a lot different" a relieved Pelfrey said. Cabrera's battered body which includes assorted ailments in his hip and abdomen still carried enough potential danger to cause the crowd of 37964 at Comerica Park to rise to its feet in the ninth. Twins closer Glen Perkins had just walked Torii Hunter with two outs to bring Cabrera to the plate as the potential tying run. On deck was Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder giving Twins manager Ron Gardenhire the option of walking Cabrera in order to set up a lefty-lefty matchup. Cabrera was 6 for 20 (.300) with a home run and seven strikeouts against Perkins Minnesota's all-star closer. Fielder was 4 for 10 with a pair of strikeouts but all four hits were singles. "We knew it had to end up with Cabrera and everybody second-guessing me that I should walk him or not walk him" Gardenhire said. "Even my traveling secretary (Mike Herman) was second-guessing me tonight."
Twins keep Cabrera at bay, beat Tigers 6-3
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Aug 21