The Indians won an enjoyable one Friday night, taking the lead in the 1st inning and never looking back. Nick Swisher hit a grand slam, but the big story was Scott Kazmir, who pitched 6 shutout innings and struck out 12 (without walking anyone). The Orioles won, and remain tied with the Tribe, but the Yankees lost, falling half a game behind, and Tampa Bay was later defeated as well, meaning the Indians are just 2 games back of the second Wild Card, with a 34% chances of making the playoffs (according to FanGraphs' standings).
Bastian's daily notes from Friday include word that Corey Kluber will be allowed to throw no more than 80 pitches in his return today.
The Indians are accepting applications to fill the position of 'data architect.' Inquire within and tell them Jason sent you.
Former Tribe farmhand (and meme) Brian Jeroloman has been playing catcher for Harrisburg, the National's Double-A affiliate. Wednesday night he was annihilated by an opponent in a dirty collision at the plate, ending his season. Baseball Nation's Rob Neyer, Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran, and CBS Sports' Dayn Perry all believe that sort of collision needs to be outlawed.
They're absolutely right.
In lighter news, Carson Cistulli (this week's podcast guest) took a unique approach to figuring out what share of MLB players from the mid-1980s sported mustaches. Julio Franco is involved.
Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants had a perfect game going with 2 outs in the 9th inning. He was just one strike away in fact... but Eric Chavez wouldn't let it happen. Petit becomes the 12th player in history to lose a perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th, just five months after Yu Darvish became the 11th.
Petit doesn't go away empty handed though, as he still managed to throw a Maddux. It's the 12th Maddux in Giants history. You can find every team's total Maddux count here.
Yesterday I examined which slugger, Jason Giambi or David Ortiz, has had the better career. One point I mentioned is that Giambi's best seasons were better than Ortiz's best. I said Giambi's 2001 was maybe the best hitting season by any player not named Barry Bonds this century. Another way of reaching that conclusion would be to call it the best hitting season in the American League this century. I thought I'd take a closer look at some numbers, and determine my official stance on the matter. This is only hitting, no defense, and no base running.
Top Hitting Seasons, 2000-2012 (American League)
6) Miguel Cabrera (2011) - 688 PA, .344/.448/.586, 65 bRuns, 62 fRuns, 177 wRC+
5) Alex Rodriguez (2007) - 708 PA, .314/.422/.645, 65 bRuns, 67 fRuns, 174 wRC+
4) Jim Thome (2002) - 613 PA, .304/.445/.677, 70 bRuns, 67 fRuns, 189 wRC+
3) Carlos Delgado (2000) - 711 PA, .344/.470/.664, 74 bRuns, 76 fRuns, 179 wRC+
3) Jason Giambi (2000) - 664 PA, .333/.476/.647, 77 bRuns, 75 fRuns, 183 wRC+
1) Jason Giambi (2001) - 671 PA, .342/.477/.660, 76 bRuns, 79 fRuns, 193 wRC+