DETROIT -- How do you retire Miguel Cabrera, arguably the best hitter in the game, who entered Wednesday's contest with a .363 average, 29 homers and 92 RBIs? It was a question posed to White Sox ace Chris Sale before he faces the third baseman in Thursday afternoon's series finale.
"First, you got to pitch to him," said a smiling Sale.
Sale wants to pitch to Cabrera. Maybe not with the game on the line, bases loaded and nobody out, but Sale looks at the potent Tigers as a challenge that any All-Star pitcher would want as a test.
"I was telling John [Danks] that this is a team where you kind of figure out where you stand," Sale said. "You start giving stuff away and pitching around guys and you don't really know what you have. So just go after him and hope for the best.
"[Cabrera] did something last year [win the Triple Crown] that nobody has done in who knows how long. He's on his way to doing it again this year. I think he's definitely the best hitter of our generation. As far as being able to hit for average, power, driving runs in, that kind of stuff."
As good as Cabrera's numbers look, Sale understands that while Cabrera is supremely talented, he is not unstoppable.
"He's hitting what? .363?" Sale said. "So we got a 63 percent chance of getting him out. I like my odds on that: sometimes. As good as the numbers look, you still have to talk yourself into, 'This guy still gets out.'
"He doesn't hit every single ball over the fence or get a hit every time up. Just bear down, and hope for the best."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.