Choo, who reached the .300 mark in batting with a 1-for-3 game on Saturday, sat out the game on Sunday. He becomes the only Tribe hitter since 1901 to bat .300, hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in back-to-back seasons. The only other Indians to turn that feat but not in back-to-back seasons were Roberto Alomar in 1999 and 2001 and Joe Carter in 1986.
National League MVP – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies. This may come as a shock to people who always look at St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols as the automatic preseason pick for MVP. But anyone in the know understands the greatness of this hidden gem in the mountains of Colorado. The 25-year-old Gonzalez will be a legitimate threat to win the Triple Crown over the next few seasons. Last year, he hit 34 home runs with 117 RBIs and a .336 average. Throw in 111 runs scored and 26 stolen bases, as well as being a plus defensive outfielder, and you have the most well-rounded player in all of baseball.
Adrian Beltre remains on the DL with a strained hamstring, but like Boston, this Ranger lineup continues to hit the ball all over the park. It second in the Majors in both hitting and scoring with a .277 team batting average and an average of 5.09 runs per game.
CarGo’s teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, should also be in the running for MVP along with, obviously, Pujols. Tulowitzki had probably the best two-week offensive performance in major league baseball history in the first half of last September. For the month, Tulowitzki finished with an incredible 15 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Jerry Blevins was even worse than Ziegler in that department: the lefty struck out his fair share of batters, but he gave up more hits than innings pitched. His 3.70 ERA still looks respectable, but Blevins was one of those players that every fan feared when he entered a tight spot.
Kuroda’s counterpart on the mound, sale jerseys, had turned in a very strong performance before leaving in that five-run eighth inning. The hard-throwing lefty was charged with three runs – two earned – on five hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. Sale struck out six Yankees on the evening.
The Giants averaged 27.1 putouts, the Tigers averaged 26.7 and the Pirates averaged 26.1. The team with the least number of putouts was the Cubs, Orioles, Nationals, Indians, Diamondbacks, Athletics, and Pirates.
The leniency of punishment in baseball has made me think. Not to make a pun, but baseball is a cerebral game. A good manager in my eyes must be a good chess player. His job is to place his men strategically and move them wherever he projects the adversarial team will be looking for an edge. He sometimes even has to think two and three moves ahead.