The Indians didn't seem ready to return from the All-Star break, as other than a pair of hits from Michael Bourn, the offense was nearly silent, and costly errors by Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher helped all three of Minnesota's runs to score in a 3-2 loss foe the Tribe. Scott Kazmir pitched well, allowing just two unearned runs in six innings, but for naught. The Tigers lost 1-0 to Kansas City, so the Indians remain 1.5 games back in the Central. It's a drag to wait days and days for a game, then have it get away from the team in such frustrating fashion. Corey Kluber will try and help the team get back on track tonight.
Other Indians links:
Bastian's notes from Friday include word on Zach McAllister's schedule return (Tuesday), Jason Kipnis' reactions to the All-Star Game, Yan Gomes getting a message from his hero, and Brett Myers being shutdown again.
The Indians make two of Rob Neyer's top ten potential World Series matchups, including the #3 spot.
Danny Salazar's split-change (thanks, Fangraphs!)
MLB quick hits:
Derek Jeter is back on the DL after appearing in just one game.
Brandon Barnes became the 8th player in Astros history to hit for the cycle.
In 1982, Hall of Famer Luke Appling hit a home run at Washington's RFK Stadium. He was 75 years old.
Puig Destroyer is the name of an actual band, some sort of thrash metal group. Baseball Nation's Grant Brisbee (with some help from a few friends) came up with 50 other baseball-themed hard rock band names. More than one LGFT is involved (#45 hits too close to home). I don't know the genre well enough to recognize all of the bands, but my favorite entry is Vida Blue Oyster Cult.
Speaking of rock music, I was at Wrigley Field Friday night to see Pearl Jam. Thirty minutes into their set, a thunderstorm delayed things... for three hours. The band couldn't take the stage again until just a few minutes before midnight. Joining them on stage: Ernie Banks, looking good at 82 years old! They played til 2:00 AM, at which time the city forced them to stop. No one who stuck around can say they didn't get their money's worth.
Fangraphs counted down the 50 most valuable players in baseball, based on talent, age, and contract status. You can click on this link to see the top ten, which also has links to the other forty players. The top of the list is an interesting mix of young players who are still making close to the league minimum, and superstars on big contracts that probably still underpay them. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana were each on the list, a bit further down.
For this week's list, I give you my "ballot" for the American League's first-half MVP:
6) Josh Donaldson (Athletics)
5) Felix Hernandez (Mariners)
4) Manny Machado (Orioles)
3) Mike Trout (Angels)
2) Chris Davis (Orioles)
1) Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
Over at Ground Ball With Eyes, my blog for non-Indians stuff, I put together a more complete take on midseason MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year "winners," along with predictions for whom actually wins each award at the end of the season. My AL choices are here, and if you're interested in the Senior Circuit, my NL choices are here.