For the next several weeks we’ll be rolling out our list of the best The Moment’s of 2013. The list is the product of winnowing down 173 moments from April to October into the best twenty. They vary in their importance but all captivated us in an important way. A few are silly, a few are excellent plays, and a few will travel down in Tigers lore. I hope you enjoy it.
#18 – Cabrera homers three times on Sunday Night Baseball in Texas
The game itself was actually pretty crazy considering all the run scoring as Fister and Holland were less than stellar after a couple of nights in which Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander struggled mightily. The nature of the game was interesting, but the moment(s) was/were clear. Cabrera had four hits (three HR) and a walk in five trips to the plate. Each was impressive, and it was one of those nights in which Cabrera just looked like he belonged in another league. The middle homerun was especially impressive considering that Holland actually ducks when Cabrera makes contact because the ball was actually hit on a very flat trajectory. Jeff Sullivan wrote about it as one of the more interesting homeruns of the year at the time.
Here is the GIF Sullivan made over at FanGraphs to show the duck more clearly:
Here, also, is Sullivan plotting the elevation angle and apex (peak height) of the homerun compared to all other homeruns through May 19th. Even when we look at the entire season, no non-inside the park homerun had a lower elevation angle and only fifteen have lower vertical peaks.
Miguel Cabrera is on this list quite a few times – already appearing at #19, and slotting in three more times before we’re all said and done.