Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Miguel Cabrera Gives Credit to R.A. Dickey

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For the most part, the best part about baseball is the big moments; the walk-off hits, the towering home runs, the clutch strikeouts. But other times, the best part about baseball is its little intricacies ... the small moments.

There was one of those rare and yet small moments during yesterday's contest between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays. It won't ever show up on the boxscore, but there was a very brief and yet definitive instant from the game.

In the top of the fourth inning, R.A. Dickey struck out Miguel Cabrera on an 80 MPH fastball. That accomplishment in itself must have been a small victory for Dickey to strike out one of the best hitters in baseball.

And what happened next was an extremely rare salute from any hitter, let alone Miguel Cabrera. He essentially tipped his cap to R.A. Dickey, nodding his head in acknowledgement after the strikeout as if to say "good pitch, you got me".

GIFs and more after the jump.



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The at bat was somewhat unorthodox because this is the pitch sequence Dickey used on Cabrera; two knuckleballs, two fastballs, and then he finished him off with two knuckleballs.

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball
The first two pitches barely missed the bottom of the zone, but then Dickey came back in with two consecutive fastballs to Cabrera. He watched the first one go by for a strike, but Cabrera fouled the next one off.

I'd say that's very brave of Dickey to lay a couple of fastballs right down the heart of the zone for one of the best fastball hitters in the game. And then once Dickey planted the seed of doubt, he finished off Cabrera with a pair of knuckleballs.

It's not very often when Miguel Cabrera looks completely overmatched in an at bat, but R.A. Dickey did exactly that. And the coolest part was that Cabrera visibly acknowledged that and nodded towards Dickey following the strikeout.

Were it virtually any other hitter in baseball, this probably wouldn't warrant its own blog post, but the fact that it came against a guy who makes a living punishing pitchers around the Major Leagues makes it newsworthy.

Again, this particular at bat wasn't a game-changing moment for R.A. Dickey, but it's the thing that will stand out the most to me from that game. Because it's not every day when Miguel Cabrera appears like a mere mortal, let alone that he admits he got beat.

6 comments:

  1. Dickey also nodded to Cabrera after in acknowledgement. Very cool

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  2. Great piece. I love these little things that often go unnoticed by the majority of fans. I had actually just read this morning from Olney that Miggy did the acknowledgment thing with Kevin Gausman of the Orioles:

    "In the midst of an at-bat against Cabrera on June 2, Gausman threw a fastball down and in with the count 1-1 to make Cabrera move his feet. As Fernando Rodney learned over the weekend, Cabrera can take offense to having fastballs in the area of his head, but he seemed to understand what Gausman was doing, and why: He looked out at the rookie and nodded.

    Then Gausman threw him an off-speed pitch, and Cabrera -- with his extraordinary eye-hand coordination -- managed to foul it off with an emergency hack, and again, he looked out at Gausman and nodded.

    The count reached 3-2, and Gausman aimed a fastball at the outside corner, mid-90s paint. Cabrera took it for strike three to end the top half of the sixth inning, and as Gausman walked off the mound, he saw it again --Cabrera giving him a little nod: Nice job, Kid."

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  3. This really makes me like Miggy. I hope you're proud of yourself.

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  4. Thanks Ian for posting this. I was trying to find video of the 'nod' but couldn't. Good job!

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  5. "In the top of the fourth inning, R.A. Dickey struck out Miguel Cabrera on an 80 MPH fastball."

    I think you meant knuckleball.

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  6. Kev Langdon, Mat Duheme, Hunter Slawek, Eric Taschner: go jays go! RA Dickey is the best pitcher in the MLB, cabrera is awesome too!

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