The Cleveland Indians clinched their first AL Central crown in nine years with victory over Detroit on Monday. They lost the next two games in that series, but bounced back to sweep Kansas City over the weekend, securing home-field advantage for their ALDS against Boston.
Which players were the Tribe’s best players for the final week of the regular season?
Allen finished up a strong regular season by pitching a scoreless inning in each of the team's four victories last week. A single on Saturday and a walk on Sunday were the only base-runners he allowed, and he recorded five strikeouts. He also picked up his 30th, 31st, and 32nd saves of the year, making him the fifth Indians closer with 30+ saves in back-to-back seasons.
Lindor had been slumping at the plate, though it should be noted that even when the hits weren't coming, he was drawing walks. In Kansas City, the hits started coming again, and Lindor posted a .250/.500/.667 batting line in 21 plate appearances last week, with a wRC+ of 200. He only had three hits, but all three were for extra bases (including his 15th home run of the year), and he walked six times.
Miller made a scoreless appearance in all four of the team's wins last week, allowing only two hits in four innings of work. He didn't walk anyone, and he struck out eight. During his two months with the Tribe, Miller has posted 1.55 ERA, with more than half his outs coming on strikeouts, and an absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio of 46 to 2.
Santana capped his tremendous final month of the regular season with another excellent week, batting .381/.500/.714 in 26 plate appearances, with a wRC+ of 220. He led the team with eight hits, and also drew five walks (giving him 99 for the season). Among his eight hits were five for extra bases, giving him a career high and team best (tied with Kipnis) 68 of them for the season.
While the top two relievers were awesome, and it was nice to see Lindor picking up big hits again, for me the week belonged to Carlos Santana. The last month belonged to him too: In September and those first two days of October, Santana hit .327/.454/.625, with a wRC+ of 188. FanGraphs has him at 1.6 WAR for the month, tied for the highest figure among all MLB players. It was a monster month, and an excellent final week of the season for my beloved Lando Carlossian.
Congratulations for the fourth time, Carlos!