The Detroit Tigers were up 1-0 against the New York Yankees on Thursday’s game when it reached the bottom of the eighth frame. With two runners on and two outs, manager Aaron Boone determined that Lucas Luetge should intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera, loading the bases and setting up a matchup with Austin Meadows.
It was Cabrera’s last at-bat of the game, and the crowd at Comerica Park mercilessly booed Boone because he took the bat out of Cabrera’s hands. It was noteworthy because the Tigers’ slugger is currently at 2,999 hits, looking to become the 33rd hitter in MLB history with 3,000 hits.
But the Yankees’ skipper walked him to have Luetge face Meadows, who hit a two-run double with the bases loaded and put the game 3-0.
The Yankees’ manager made a baseball decision
Boone talked about his decision to intentionally walk Cabrera after the game. He told Dawn Klemish of MLB.com:
“I certainly understand that,” he said. “You don’t necessarily like being in that position, but that’s part of it. … It’s a baseball call [all] the way, but there’s no doubt that there’s a little more feeling to it, right, when you’re understanding the situation. But in the end, you’ve gotta go with what you think is right within the context of the game.”
To the contrary of what some people believe, the Yankees’ manager wanted to get the lefty-on-lefty matchup advantage by walking the righty-hitting Cabrera to have Luetge, a southpaw, face the lefty-hitting Meadows. It ended up backfiring, sure, but at least it made sense.
The people at Comerica Park yesterday wanted to hear none of it, however, as they just wanted to see their idol make history. It will have to wait at least until the weekend, however, and it won’t come against the Yankees, at least not now.