It's not often that you hear, when a big slugger comes up to the plate, 'Run into one like the pitcher did' in regards to the slugger needing a big hit. Most pitchers aren't known for their home run prowess, specifically in the AL when there's no batting to be done by pitchers except in interleague situations.
Still, Tigers manager Jim Leyland reportedly said just that when Miguel Cabrera stepped up to the plate in a crucial situation against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. Back in batting practice before the game, pitcher Justin Verlander hit a home run and Leyland was impressed enough to call on the mojo of that HR when Cabrera came to bat looking for a late win.
Verlander confirmed the turn of events while getting ready to leave the Tigers clubhouse after the game.
Yeah," Verlander said. "He called it."
And about that batting practice homer?
"I hit a bomb," Verlander said. "It wasn't a cheapie."
It worked well enough; Cabrera's resulting home run won the game for the Tigers against the Twins, sealing a three game sweep against the AL Central's worst team.