The plan was to throw Jose Abreu a fastball in off the plate. Justin Verlander missed his spot, though, and Abreu ripped the 92 mile per hour fastball over 400 feet for a solo home run Wednesday night.
"That's what big power hitters do," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "When pitchers try to make a pitch like that, whether they're trying to make him chase a breaking ball or they're trying to run a ball inside, if the pitcher doesn't get it there and leaves it over the plate you end up with a 400-foot fly ball."
Abreu's killed the ball against Detroit in his rookie season, blasting four home runs and four doubles with seven RBIs in 33 plate appearances. He's homered in both games against Detroit this week and has 19 on the year to go with a league-best .627 slugging percentage entering Thursday's series finale.
The general wisdom is that opposing pitchers can get Abreu out by pitching him in off the plate. But Abreu's heat map tells a different story:
Up and in, down and in, and low and away -- those are the only zones in which Abreu's "cold." Otherwise, it's an awfully daunting task to get Abreu -- who went 3-4 on Wednesday and 2-4 on Monday -- to make an out.
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But while Ausmus has been impressed with Abreu's prowess at the plate, he's been more impressed with how the 27-year-old Cuban's demeanor.
"I love the way the guy carries himself," Ausmus said. "He goes about his business, he's not flashy, he does hit job and he's been impressive. Certainly he's hurt us a number of times with the bat."