Miguel Cabrera (right) leads the AL with 80 RBI this season -- just ahead of Mike Trout's 76.
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Batting third for the Detroit Tigers: First baseman, No. 24, Miguel Cabrera.
Angels fans can get used to hearing that over the course of the next four days. One of the games’ most feared hitters, Cabrera and the Tigers are in town for a four-game series with the Angels.
As Angles skipper Mike Scioscia looks over the Tigers lineup, he sees a guy in Cabrera who reminds him a lot of a guy he writes in his lineup card every day.
"His makeup reminds me a lot like Mike Trout’s, where you’ll see him have a couple of bad at bats here or there (but) he doesn’t change what he needs to do," Scioscia said. "He’s very confident in the batter’s box."
The Angels starters beginning with Garrett Richards Thursday followed by Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, will have Cabrera and company to contend with as both teams continue their treks in their respective pennant races.
The Angels pitching staff will have the freedom to go after Cabrera, kind of.
"We’re going after everybody until you have that lightning bolt of common sense that says ‘Maybe here, we’re going to back off a little bit,’ " Scioscia said. "We’re going to go after him.
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"There are times when, obviously, you want to give a little bit, but their lineup is deep enough to where it’s tough just to say you’re going to contain one guy and you’re going to hold them down."
Behind Cabrera is Victor Martinez, who’s hitting a team best .324 (among Tigers with 300 or more at bats) to go along with 21 home runs, which also lead the team.
The switch hitter is hitting .393 with a 1.190 OPS from the right side of the plate. He’s only struck out 28 times this season.
"(Martinez), arguably, might be having the best year out of anybody in our league," Scioscia said. "It’s not as simple as saying you’re just not going to let Cabrera beat you because you try to not let Cabrera beat you with a home run and Victor Martinez beats you with a double or a single."
As for Cabrera, the Angels have done a tremendous job of slowing him down — this season, at least. In 2013, Cabrera hit .435 in six games against the Angels. This season, in half as many games, he has just one hit in 11 at-bats.