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.
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.