DETROIT -- Jim Leyland's seen Miguel Cabrera hit 180 home runs during his time in Detroit. The manager said Thursday morning he's never seen one quite like the seventh-inning solo shot Cabrera hit in Wednesday night's 8-2 win over the A's.
It was a 94-mph fastball about chin high. Most hitters take it for a ball, but Cabrera put a swing on it and crushed his 41st home run 384 feet into the left-field seats at Comerica Park.
"That one amazed me, to be honest with you," Leyland said. "I don't know how that one happened."
According to ESPN's Home Run Tracker, it left the bat at an elevation angle of 35.9 degrees -- defined as the angle above horizontal at which the ball left the bat -- which is the third-highest mark for Cabrera this season.
Of the top three, it had the highest angle with the most speed off the bat at 104.5 mph. And distance-wise, it was heavily affected by the weather, losing five feet to the wind blowing in, and three feet from the temperature.
After the game, his teammates didn't know the unique scientific numbers, but as they touted him for American League Most Valuable Player, they used that home run as an example of why he deserves it.
"Look at the ball he hit tonight for a home run," Justin Verlander said. "We were talking about that in here, a couple of guys. You don't see that. You execute your pitch, 94 mph up at his chin, and he gets the barrel on the ball. It's impressive to watch."
"He's definitely the MVP of the league," Gerald Laird said. "I mean, to do what he's doing and getting walked and hitting balls like he hit out tonight, it just goes to show you how unbelievable he is. I just don't even think it's a discussion."