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Miggy poised to put up historic first half

Miggy poised to put up historic first half

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Miggy poised to put up historic first half

CLEVELAND -- Miguel Cabrera's 90th RBI of the season on Sunday put him into yet another exclusive group. He has one week and 10 RBIs to go to make it historic.

With a solo homer and a run-scoring single, Cabrera became the 12th player in Major League history -- and the first in 10 years -- to drive in 90 before the All-Star break. Not since Carlos Delgado and Preston Wilson plated 97 and 91 runs, respectively, before the break in 2003 had anyone even topped 86.

Like this year, that 2003 season had an extended first half before the Midsummer Classic. Under a normal schedule, Cabrera would have taken his 90 RBIs into the break at this point. But with this year's All-Star Game a week later than usual, he has seven extra games to pile up some more.

A really good week would give him a chance to become just the third player in Major League history to drive in 100 by the break. Juan Gonzalez was the last, plating 101 over 87 games in 1998. Tigers Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg is the record holder, driving in 103 over just 76 games before the break in 1935.

Greenberg drove in 170 that year, the second-highest total of his career. His franchise-record 183-RBI season came two years later, and he drove in 74 over just 67 games before the break that year. He had 110 RBIs over 87 games following that All-Star Game, even though he hit for a lower second-half average, slugging percentage and OPS. By the 87-game mark, the point where Cabrera stood entering Monday, Greenberg was up to 105 RBIs.

Even if the White Sox and Rangers deny him an abundance of RBI chances, Cabrera has a chance at some more first-half standards. One of them, not surprisingly, is times on base. Between his league-leading average and his walks, he entered Monday's series finale in Cleveland having reached base safely 182 times. He's just the 19th player in Major League history to do that by the break, and he's passed Tony Phillips (181 times in 1993) for the Tigers record.

He already has the highest total by the break since Barry Bonds, who set a record by reaching base safely 204 times by the break in 2004. Frank Thomas is the only other player to top 200, getting on base 202 times in 1994.

If Cabrera can reach base even just seven times by the break, he'll have the fourth-highest total. Bonds' 195 in 2002 stands third.

Cabrera's 125 hits entering Monday is already a Tigers record, and had him tied for the 25th-best total before the break. He would need a record-setting week, though, to come anywhere close to Ralph Garr's Major League-record 149 first-half hits, set with the 1974 Braves. Darin Erstad holds the AL mark, with 144 first-half hits in 2000.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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