It's time for our weekly look at the Indians' top players of the last seven days, in which one man is chosen as better than the rest. Be sure to vote for you choice in the poll included at the bottom.
The team's two best hitters each had a good week at the plate (too bad no one else really did), and there were a couple of great games from the starting rotation. It's not an easy week to call.
Brantley hit .400/.483/.520 in 29 plate appearances last week, good for a wRC+ of 195. He had 4 multi-hit games and he hit his 19th home run of the season and stole his 19th and 20th bases (putting him one HR away from becoming the 9th 20/20 player in franchise history). Not that it should matter for Player of the Week balloting, by Dr. Smooth is currently 2nd in the AL in fWAR, so if MVP voters want to job Mike Trout for the third year in a row...
House started the second game of Thursday's doubleheader. He pitched 7 shutout innings, tying his career high with 8 strikeouts and walking no one. He has pitched 7+ innings with 0 walks and no more than 1 run allowed in each of his last three starts, making him one of just 3 American League pitchers to have three consecutive games like that since the DH was put into practice in 1973.
Kluber started the first game of Thursday's doubleheader and gave up just 2 runs in 8.1 IP (it should have been 1 run in 8 IP, but Francona again left him in a couple batters too long, even if the urge to get as much out of him as possible with a second game coming sort of makes sense). He struck out 7 while walking 0. Just another day at the office for the Klubot.
Santana hit .346/.379/.654 in 29 plate appearances last week, good for a wRC+ of 188. He led the team with 5 runs scored and with 6 runs batted in. He homered in each game of Thursday's doubleheader (the Tribe's only wins of the week), pushing his total for the season to 27, tying his career high (as well as the team high for this decade). He also stole his 4th base of the season, just for fun.
Between the two hitters I think the edge goes to Brantley. Their offense was nearly identical, and so for me the tiebreaker is the error Santana made on Sunday. Between the pitchers, I think House pitched the better game, not that there's anything to complain about with Kluber's performance. It's awfully close, but by a (mustache) hair, I'm going with the surprising southpaw.
Congratulations to T.J.!