Ready for the shuffle, ready for the deal, ready to let go of the steering wheel

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

Today is a banner day, as the Marinara Mudslingers begin in earnest their charge to a Euclid Fantasy Football League title after a decade of ineptitude.

But it’s also the Tribe-Royals rubber match. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • Michael Brantley finds hits between his couch cushions. All this guy has done since he’s been up here is hit. He’s reached base safely in all 10 games and hit safely in nine of them. Last night, he had a four-hit game against the Royals, becoming the first Tribe player to have a four-hit effort in his first 10 games since… brace yourself… the immortal Andy Allanson. Rocky Colavito achieved the feat in his fourth game, so Brantley is a little behind, in that regard.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other Tribe player in history has had a four-hit game at a younger age (22 years, 120 days old). That was Carlos Baerga, who recorded four hits against the Yankees on Sept. 20, 1990, at the age of 21 years, 320 days old.
  • David Huff currently has the team lead with nine wins. Only Aaron Laffey, who is 7-5, has a chance of catching him for that team lead, so Huff is in prime position to become the first Tribe rookie to lead the team in wins since CC Sabathia did so in 2001, with 17 wins. The last Indians rookie to win 10 games was Ryan Drese in 2002.
  • The Double-A Akron juggernaut rolls on. The Aeros finished off a three-game sweep of Reading in the first round of the Eastern League playoffs last night with a 9-3 win. Beau Mills carried the offense with a double, a homer and three RBIs, and Eric Berger turned in five innings in which he allowed just a run on four hits with eight strikeouts. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall reached base safely in eight of 12 plate appearances.
  • Akron’s opponent in the Eastern League finals is yet to be determined.
  • Short-season Mahoning Valley has advanced to the finals of the New York-Penn League playoffs. The Scrappers will face Staten Island in a best-of-three series that begins Monday.
  • Jhonny Peralta had a four-RBIs night against the Royals on Saturday and is now tied with Shin-Soo Choo for the team lead, with 77. He was asked if it would mean anything to him to lead the team in RBIs. “I have 77,” Peralta said. “Pretty good. It would be nice to do. Choo and me are tied in RBIs. But I don’t pay any attention to that.” Yes, he knows he has 77 and Choo has 77, but he’s not paying any attention to it.
  • Speaking of Choo, he homered last night for the first time in 23 games. His homer on Aug. 15 in Minnesota was his first in 31 games. Choo hit 13 homers in the first half and has two in the second. Hitting coach Derek Shelton has told Choo not to get caught up in the homer totals, because he’s been hitting for average and driving the ball all year. Choo had 18 doubles and a triple in 87 games before the All-Star break, and he has 15 doubles and five triples in 49 games since the break.
  • How about the mighty Ohio Bobcats bumping off North Texas on its home turf in double-OT last night? That’s a big win, as the Bobcats continue to gear up for their stunning upset of Tennessee on Sept. 26.

~AC

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