Miguel Cabrera’s season is over. The Detroit Tigers will have to try to get through the next 94 games without their veteran slugger, starting on Wednesday.
Cabrera suffered a ruptured left biceps tendon while taking a big swing in the third inning against Minnesota’s Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday. He’ll undergo season-ending surgery in the near future.
“He feels really bad. He feels like he’s letting people down. There’s a guy who’s a warrior,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Total respect for that man. He’s a (heck) of a baseball player. Hopefully, we can somehow get through this thing and get him back playing.”
Even before Tuesday’s devastating injury, Cabrera had trouble staying healthy this season. Cabrera missed three games in late April and early May with a biceps spasm. He returned for one game, then spent the rest of the month on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain.
“We’ve got to try to help him get through this thing,” Gardenhire said. “It’s a very sad day for our baseball team. He’s a special player, a special person to have around here. That’s a blow. I felt terrible when I saw him do that.”
Backup catcher John Hicks becomes the team’s starting first baseman in Cabrera’s absence. He’ll likely start there on Wednesday during the second game of the series.
Minnesota will send out their ace, Jose Berrios.
Following a stretch of four starts in late April and early May in which he gave up at least four earned runs, Berrios has overpowered the opposition. He’s won four of his last five starts while posting 44 strikeouts.
He went the distance on Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, holding them to two runs on six hits while striking out 10 without a walk.
“I felt healthy,” Berrios told mlb.com afterward. “I got quite of few pitches — fastball, curveball, changeup — working. That’s what I used the whole game.”
Berrios (7-5, 3.66 ERA) collected a victory at home over the Tigers during that stretch, limiting them to two runs on three hits in eight innings May 21. He’s 3-1 in six career outings against Detroit despite an 8.49 ERA. Tigers catcher James McCann has been a tough out for Berrios, hitting two home runs with seven RBIs in 11 career at-bats.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd, arguably the Tigers’ most consistent starter this season, will oppose Berrios. Boyd (4-4, 3.20) has notched two wins and a no-decision in his last three starts.
He survived Boston’s potent lineup in his last outing on Thursday despite some control issues. He limited the Red Sox to two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings but also issued four walks and threw three wild pitches.
“As the game went on, he got more comfortable,” Hicks said to the Detroit News afterward. “The mound in the bullpen is flat and the mound in the game is steep. It’s kind of an adjustment once you get out there. But once he settled in, he had all his pitches we could to go to in any count.”
Boyd has pitched against the Twins more than any other team. In 12 career starts, Boyd is 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA.
Twins leadoff man Brian Dozier has been a thorn in Boyd’s side, batting .406 with three doubles and three homers in 32 career at-bats.
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