Miguel Cabrera has two MVP Awards, six Silver Slugger Awards and ten All-Star Game appearances to his name. He's the only triple crown winner since 1967.
So he knows good pitching when he sees it. On Tuesday night, Cabrera struck out on a nasty off-speed pitch from Jeremy Hellickson (the announcers call it a change-up, but to the naked eye, it could be a splitter or sinker). Cabrera applauded the pitch by instantly giving Hellickson a thumbs-up.
This is a pretty sweet instance of respect. It's all one motion for Cabrera, who has seen the best pitchers in baseball since winning the World Series as a rookie in 2003.
This third inning at-bat was one of three looks Cabrera had at Hellickson. He had an RBI double in the first inning and an RBI groundout in the sixth. But for Hellickson, at least he had this moment. The Tiger won, 3-1, with Justin Verlander (8 IP, 0 R, 10 K, 3 hits) outdueling Hellickson.