A man stepped up to the plate with aplomb. All the cameras began to focus on the man stepping up to the plate and the man on the mound at the same time. The crowd stood and applauded. The feeling was shared by everyone that this special matchup would never be seen again.
The game between Detroit and Houston at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, 메이저사이트 on April 28 ended in a lopsided 17-4 victory for the nuclear-powered Tigers. Starter Justin Verlander pitched five innings of two-hit ball, striking out seven and walking none as the Astros, who were ahead on objective power, took the first game.
The game, however, was highlighted by the “final” matchup between two living legends, Miguel Cabrera (40, Detroit) and Justin Verlander (40, Houston). It was the last game of the season for both Houston and Detroit, and Cabrera, who will retire this year, will never play with Verlander again, so all the spotlight was on them.
It was an emotional moment. With the score tied at 0-0 in the second inning, Cabrera stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. As he did, Verlander touched his hat a few times with mixed emotions. It was a gesture of respect and admiration for Cabrera. Cabrera returned the favor by touching his helmet. And so, 18.44 meters apart, these two legends of the game were preparing for their final battle.
It was an emotional moment in the long story of Major League Baseball. It didn’t matter who won. Verlander threw his best and Cabrera fought back with his best. There was no winner, no loser, and everyone applauded. The historic final meeting between the two players ended after two at-bats.
Cabrera announced his retirement after this season. As of today, he is a living legend with a .307 batting average, 510 home runs, 1,871 RBIs, and a .902 OPS in 2,776 games over 21 years in the major leagues. It’s hard to hit .300 and have a .900 OPS in a single season, but Cabrera has done it in his career. In 2012 and 2013, he was named the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second straight season, making him one of the best hitters of his generation.
Cabrera and Verlander played together for nearly a decade in Detroit.
Cabrera and Verlander were key players and leaders on their teams.
Verlander and Cabrera developed a great friendship on and off the field.
Just as Cabrera’s Hall of Fame induction is assured, Verlander had a Hall of Fame-caliber career. In 503 career games, he pitched 3286⅓ innings, compiling a 254-139 record with a 3.23 ERA and 3308 strikeouts. He was a three-time Cy Young Award winner, and in 2011, he won both the MVP and Cy Young awards. Cabrera won the batting triple crown and Verlander won the pitching triple crown.
The two “legends” who don’t need to list their accomplishments were once teammates in Detroit. Verlander made his major league debut with Detroit in 2005 and was traded to Houston in 2017. Cabrera joined Detroit in 2008 and has been with the Tigers ever since. From 2008 to 2017, they were teammates for nearly a decade.
Verlander was the man on the mound and Cabrera was the man at the plate, the two engines that drove the team. Not to mention the camaraderie of two players their own age. Off the field, they spent time together and showed their closeness.
After the game, Verlander, a forty-year-old veteran, was as emotional as a child. Instead of focusing on the outcome of the game, he focused on explaining what a great player Cabrera was and what a great teammate he was. “It was pretty cool to get a little bit of time to touch the hat to Miggy (Cabrera’s nickname) before we left,” said Verlander, “and I’m glad A.J. Hinch (Detroit manager) put him in the lineup. I’m so glad we had that moment.”
“His talent has always been there, his right-handed swing is one of the purest swings in baseball, there’s so much to him, but from the first day I played with him, I was just blown away by his ability,” Verlander recalled. Houston manager Dusty Baker agreed: “He’s one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time. One of the greatest run producers of all time. This guy could do it all. The batting average, the home runs, the RBIs, and he played until he was 40.” Joining the ranks of admirers is Houston manager Dusty Baker.
“We have a lot of great memories on and off the field,” said Verlander, adding, “I love the guy and have a lot of respect for him.” “I’m glad I had the opportunity to play against him in his final year. It’s something I will always remember.” The pages of history are about to be filled with another comma and period.
A friendship between two players that is now part of Major League Baseball history.
Verlander, Cabrera, and Prince Fielder helped shape an era in Detroit.