Friday, June 1, 2018

Brantley's May 2018 #s

what's up, Brantley fans? thank you all who read my Brantley's March/April 2018 #s blog. it was a long one, but i hope you found it informative and worth your time.πŸ˜€

i also want to thank and welcome my new viewers from Cameroon! hi!πŸ‘‹ i'm honored that you found my site and it's great to see Michael has fans all the way in Central Africa!πŸ‘Œ throughout the duration of this month, my site saw the most visitors from Russia, the United States, and Germany (in that order). props to all of you in those countries for keeping up with all the news about Dr. Smooth and i appreciate all of your clicks.πŸ‘ leave a comment below and let me know you were here. then check back next month to see if there were any changes in where my largest audience is coming from. feel free to share my posts to better your chances of being in the Top 3!πŸ₯‡πŸ₯ˆπŸ₯‰

as i stated in my previously monthly blog, you're going to get two posts from me filled with numbers and statistics at the end of every month now. this one focuses on May and May alone. the upcoming second post will contain Michael's overall numbers and stats so far for 2018 and will be linked at the bottom of this blog once i finish it.

and if you haven't heard, 2018 MLB All Star Game voting begins
today, June 1, at noon eastern time! look for an additional post from me with all the details and information you need to know to cast your ballots this year. please vote Brantley!πŸ™πŸ™ŒπŸ—Ή


May Overview

month two of Michael's final season with the Tribe was something for the record books. he started May off in a very grand manner by hitting his first career grand slam on May 1 before later slipping into a minor 0-for-13 slump that included three straight 0-fer games. even more shocking is that between May 5-6, Michael totaled four strikeouts, two in each game! that's so uncharacteristic for Dr. Smooth. but his troubles didn't last long, as they never do. he belted another granny on May 11 and just kept on hitting after that, to the tune of a 19-game hitting streak. the streak consisted of eight multi-hit affairs and not only matched the 2nd longest in his career, but was also a team high and longest in the majors this season. moreover, Michael had a 9-game hitting streak on the road this month, and ends May with an active 21-game on-base streak, 11-game on-base streak on the road, and 14-game hitting/on-base streak at home.

on the other hand, Michael did go 0-for-9 in 11 plate appearances with runners in scoring position between May 13 and May 22. lucky for him, however, he still drove in a large number of guys on base this month, which represented a new career high for May and marked the most ribbies he's ever totaled in one month in his entire Major League career! besides that, Michael hit seven home runs, which marked another career high for the month of May. outstanding!πŸ’ͺ

in Michael's first 13 games between May 1-15, he bat .309 (17-for-55) with five doubles, three home runs, 17 RBI, 12 runs, and seven walks. his aforementioned slump occurred between May 5-9. then in his last 14 games between May 16-31, he bat .356 (21-for-59) with two doubles, four home runs, nine RBI, 14 runs, five walks, and one stolen base. overall, Michael had a May batting average of .333. on the season, Michael's 2018 batting average currently stands at .337, six points lower than it was at the end of April.

the Indians opened the month by finishing the last two games of a three-game series versus the Texas Rangers and then played a very long makeup doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays at home. Michael went 3-for-11 in the Rangers series with a double, grand slam, five RBI, and two runs. Game 1 of the Blue Jays set was delayed by almost two hours due to rain and then lasted 11 innings. Michael played the whole thing as the designated hitter, then was the left fielder in Game 2. he put together a 4-for-8 showing with two doubles, one RBI, two runs, and two walks. overall, Michael had a productive homestand, going 7-for-19.

after the DH finally ended, the club was off to their next destination, flying to the Bronx and not getting in until about 3:30 am. they had three games scheduled against the New York Yankees and then two against the Milwaukee Brewers, with an off day in between. Terry Francona gave Michael the first Yankee game off before playing the last two. despite the rest, he struggled at the plate and only mustered a walk in the series while going 0-for-7 with an uncharacteristic four strikeouts. lamentably, he wasn't able to turn things around in Milwaukee either. in Interleague play, he was just 1-for-6 with one RBI and two walks. that made for a paltry 1-for-13 output on the road for Michael.

following another day off, the Tribe had a quick series at home versus the Kansas City Royals. in three games, Michael was scorching hot despite the cold temps. he went 6-for-14 with one double, two home runs (including his second grand slam of his career), nine RBI, and six runs scored.

after that, the boys went back on the road for a three-city, eight-game, 10-day trip. it began with three games against the Detroit Tigers, then continued with a three-game series against the Houston Astros, before wrapping up with two contests against the Chicago Cubs (with days off in between each series). when playing the Tigers, Michael went 5-for-14 with one home run, one RBI, and two walks. compare that to his performance in Houston, a 3-for-12 effort with one double, one home run, one RBI, and two runs. (that's a lot better than some of his teammates did though.) then on the last leg of the trip, Michael excelled in ChiTown, batting 4-for-9 with one RBI, two runs, and one walk. in addition, he acquired his first outfield assist which was part of an even bigger double play that Michael turned. combine all three series and Michael finished 12-for-35 on the road.

the Astros came to Progressive Field for a four-game set before the Indians played three games versus the Chicago White Sox for a seven-game homestand. he went 6-for-16 in the Houston series with one double, one home run, four RBI, two runs, one walk, and one stolen base. his production continued while playing Chicago and he bat 5-for-11 with one home run, two RBI, five runs, one walk, and one hit by pitch. altogether at home, Michael was 11-for-27 at the plate.

on the final day of May, the boys began a road series with the Minnesota Twins. in the first of four games, Michael was rendered hitless, going 0-for-3, but still getting on base twice with two walks. regrettably, however, that put an end to the tremendous 19-game hitting streak Michael compiled. it was a great run, nonetheless.πŸ˜€πŸ‘

this was definitely one of Michael's best months in his career, as he put up some really impressive numbers and stats to earn several career highs. aside from that, he played every game in May except for one, which should calm everyone's nerves if they were at all worried that his ankle wouldn't hold up. he's healthy now and i cannot wait to see what else he's going to do this year!πŸ™Œ

were you pleased with Michael's May? comment all your thoughts below!

one thing i have to admit is it made me sad to hear Michael talking about how, in the offseason, he read the posts online that reacted negatively to the Indians picking up his option. (if you don't know what i'm referring to, scroll down to my May Standout Games, Spotlights, & Quotes section of this blog and read the postgame stuff from May 29.) there are a lot of idiots on the internet, that's a fact. i see them too, but i write them off and block them. based on how well Michael recovered from his shoulder surgeries, there was never a doubt in my mind that he wouldn't recover from his ankle surgery and then be the All Star that he's proven he is once again. while some take Michael for granted and undervalue him because he's not a 30-home run type of player, others (you know, those with an actual brain that works properly) recognize that he's the most consistent hitter on the team and is going to put up similar stats to the home run hitters at the end of the year regardless. Michael has to know that he does have supporters outside of his family, and i'm exhibit A, the #1.πŸ˜‰


Less Scheduled Off Days

Michael got his only scheduled day off on May 4 against the New York Yankees after playing both games of the makeup doubleheader the day before on May 3. from Jordan Bastian's Pregame Minutiae blog on bastian.mlblogs.com, Terry Francona revealed, "we talked before the doubleheader, the day before, and i said, 'hey, let's figure this out.' i said, 'there are a number of ways. you're going to play two out of three.' so we decided, OK, he'll DH one and play one last night and sit tonight. he's handling everything great. we just don't want to run him into the ground."

thanks to five off days on the Tribe's May calendar, Michael didn't require as many scheduled days off. Tito also balanced Michael's play time by making him the designated hitter in a couple games this month.

the most consecutive days he played in May were 10 straight at the end of the month. if you remember in spring and April, it was publicized that Michael would be eased in and given extra days off early on in the season. maybe we're not "early" in the season anymore, so perhaps he won't need to sit out much going forward. we'll see.


Another BOP Change

Michael had two BOPs again this month, but not the two that you might have suspected. he began batting 4th this month, regardless of whether or not a right-handed or left-handed pitcher was starting, up until May 11. that's when Terry Francona decided to drop a struggling Jason Kipnis down in the order and "promote" Michael to 2nd. besides that, most of the other Tribesmen saw their BOPs change in May, too.

the skipper explained the Michael move in Jordan Bastian's Pregame Minutiae blog on bastian.mlblogs.com. "me and Kip were talking in Milwaukee. it's something we kind of come to the conclusion together. that second spot is such an important part of the order, just because it's not just hitting. it's getting the bunt down. and he does that so well. in fact, he's one of the best i've ever seen at doing that, like playing the game when the game determines, do i lay a bunt down here or do i swing away? so, it's not just putting a hitter there, because you can undo somebody else that's doing really well and then give them different responsibilities and they start to struggle. i think Brantley's certainly one guy that, because he hits the ball through the hole so well, would be the logical choice. but, i wanted to talk to him, too. so, i talked to both guys and me and Kip talked for a while the other day. we kind of did it together. i thought we did a good job, because we want to get him going. and, what's the best way? sometimes it's to maybe drop you down a little bit and let him just focus on hitting--not so much moving runners and things like that."

how nice is it to have a hitter like Michael Brantley, who you can move around in the lineup and not worry about it impacting their approach? "i agree with that, and there's not many guys i would do that with, because that's one of the things i was talking about with Kip. because he understands there is more to ask out of a two-hitter, whether it's, what's the word--implicitly--Kip knows how to play the game. ...and ultimately i'd like to get him back into that slot, because i think we're a better team. i just think we both feel like for right now, it's the right thing to do."

Joe Noga's article on cleveland.com also claimed Francona went with the move because of Michael's ability to take a pitch and go the other way with it and because he's the least likely hitter to be affected by the change.

my first thought upon hearing this--ugh. Michael hadn't bat 2nd since Game 2 of a doubleheader on May 13, 2013. prior to that, before Francona was the Indians' manager, Michael bat 2nd in a total of 18 games (17 starts)--five times in 2012, nine times in 2011, and three times in 2010. i feared an adjustment period would be needed because he might be pitched to a little differently in yet another new spot in the lineup.

aside from that, Michael is not a sac bunter, and a lot of times, the guy in the 2 hole sacrifices himself by laying down a bunt to advance a runner. i hoped Tito wasn't expecting Michael to sac bunt on the regular now. he only had 11 sac bunts in his career, with the last coming in 2013. so i didn't want to see Michael change anything about his approach at the plate.

in addition, i was worried Michael might lose out on RBI opportunities batting higher up in the order. but then, when he went and hit a grand slam in his first game batting 2nd on May 11 and got another bases loaded AB on May 13, i realized my worry was unnecessary lol

after the game on May 12, in which Michael went 3-for-4, Francona commented on Michael batting in the 2 hole. from Bastian's Covering the Bases blog on bastian.mlblogs.com, he remarked, "i think Brant's a good hitter wherever you hit him. i love when Brant hits with a runner on first anyway--like regardless of the situation--because he uses the hole so effectively. but, Brant is gonna hit wherever you put him."

Francisco Lindor gave Michael some very high praise as well. "he's done a great job. he's doing a fantastic job. i feel like [Jason] Kipnis usually does a great job. it's just he's been having a rough couple weeks, you know? but, Brant's been doing a great job behind me. Brant is the best hitter on the team and one of the best hitters in the league. whenever he's behind you, he's going to protect you."

following the May 13th game, Michael's third straight day batting 2nd, Tito once again justified his lineup change. "in the two-hole, especially when Frankie's on so much, (Brantley) uses that hole so well to his advantage," he stated in Noga's cleveland.com article.

following the Indians' win on May 16, Michael did an on-field interview with in-game SportsTime Ohio reporter, Andre Knott, and spoke about hitting in this new spot in the lineup. from this SportsTime Ohio twitter video, Knott broached the subject by noting Michael had gone 11 of 28 in the 2-hole with three home runs before inquiring what is it like going up a little bit higher in the order and having Frankie in front of him, or Raj, and having Jose behind him? "yeah, my teammates do a great job of always giving me a good opportunity to just go up there with men in scoring position and, you know, seeing good pitches at the plate. uh, i'm very appreciative of that. uh, where i hit in the lineup doesn't matter to me, whatever's gonna help the team win that day, i'll do. uh, it's a team-first approach around here and we gotta continue to play good baseball." (considering that he openly told Tito he preferred to bat 3rd just a few years ago, i'm not totally buying that PC answer lol)

after the game on May 29 versus the Chicago White Sox, Jose Ramirez was asked by Knott how much fun it is to have Michael hit in front of him and what stands out about his swing every day. from a video on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel, via the team interpreter, Will Clements, he laughed, "with Michael Brantley, there's really not a lot to talk about. everybody in the world knows what kind of ballplayer he is and what he brings to the game and so, yeah, i love hitting behind him."

okay, so let's look at the top of the order both before and after Michael's move.

when Michael played and bat 4th in his first eight games in May, the Top 4 looked like this: Francisco Lindor--Jason Kipnis--Jose Ramirez--Michael Brantley. one day when Ramirez rested, Lindor took over his spot in the 3 hole and Rajai Davis bat leadoff against a lefty. then when Kip got a day off against a lefty, the Top 4 was Lindor--Davis--Ramirez--Brantley.

now since Michael's been batting 2nd, the top 4 has been Lindor-Brantley-Ramirez-Edwin Encarnacion with a few exceptions. when Encarnacion was out with a stiff back for two games, Davis led off (against lefty starters) and Lindor bat cleanup. (and if you thought i disliked the Tribe's two switch-hitters batting in the first 3 spots of the order, how do you think i felt about them batting back-to-back?πŸ˜•) then during one Interleague game in a National League park, Alonso was the cleanup hitter. Greg Allen also led off one game when Lindor was given a day off.

when Michael was batting 4th, the player batting after him in the 5th spot was mostly Encarnacion, except for the second game of a DH and one game in a National League park, when Yonder Alonso took on that place in the order. otherwise, Alonso was usually batting in the 6 hole. other guys who bat either 6th or 7th after Michael included Yan Gomes, Brandon Guyer, Tyler Naquin, Roberto Perez, and Bradley Zimmer.

with Michael now in the 2 hole, Ramirez is always batting 3rd behind him. in the 4 and 5 spots this month has been a mix of Encarncion, Lindor, Alonso, Guyer, Gomes, and Melky Cabrera.

in May, Michael reached base a total of 53 times via hits, walks, hit by pitches, fielder's choices, and forceouts. he scored 26 runs when the month concluded, 7 of which came from his own home runs. so he was driven in by others 19 times and was left stranded 23 times. (he was caught in a rundown once, lifted for a pinch runner two times, and caught stealing once, so i had to subtract four from the total count here.) seeing as how he was left on more than he was brought home, i'd still like it if the guy behind him would hit a little better when he's on the basepaths.

all-in-all, i'm happy that Kipnis was finally dropped down in the order. and i guess, as long as it doesn't affect his hitting, then i'm okay with Michael batting 2nd. it might help him occasionally get another AB during a game, which i was very concerned about when he was batting 5th. so that's a plus. however, it wouldn't surprise me at all if this top part of the lineup changes again next month, because i don't think Tito really likes Kip hitting in the bottom third of the order. and if Kip gets hot again, Michael likely won't stay in the 2 hole all year. where he'll end up then, who knows.πŸ€”

i also want to note how the Indians now have a third switch-hitter on the club in Melky Cabrera. since he joined the Indians squad, he's been batting 6th. so the Tribe has their switch guys batting 1st, 3rd, and 6th now. that certainly gives Francona all the more reason to leave Ramirez in the 3 hole for the entire season. looks like my fight for Brant to bat 3rd is officially over because it's a lost cause.😞 (my apologies for not counting Allen here, but he normally bats 8th and 9th when he gets the start and he just hasn't established himself enough for me to worry about his spot in the lineup.)

what are your feelings about the current top of the order? let me know in a comment below!


Areas Of Concern

it's a case of lather, rinse, repeat for Michael as far as areas of concern go because he's still having difficulties with most of the things from my April AOC.

in May, Michael didn't hit much with RISP and 2 outs unless the bases were loaded. i'm not kidding. both of his grannies came with 2 outs. otherwise, if the ducks weren't on the pond, he was anything but clutch. his RISP performance with 1 out was very below average as well.

Michael struggled on the road this month, especially at the beginning during the team's first trip. he made some progress in the middle of May, but not enough to give him the overall numbers that he'd probably prefer. so i have to list this as an area Michael could stand to improve on going forward. 

left-handed pitchers had Michael's number once again for the first half of this month. it definitely took him a while to start hitting the way he normally does against southpaws; i hope next month isn't as much of a struggle for him.

i also want to address a potential residual effect from Michael's right ankle surgery--he doesn't seem to care much about stealing bases anymore. maybe it's nothing, but it does seem weird that he's not running as much as he has in the past. in fact, he went 26 games without attempting to steal before he got caught stealing on May 23. he was caught in his previous attempt on April 21, too. and that's a rarity. maybe he's still trying to regain his speed and isn't completely confident that he can successfully steal yet. or maybe he has anxiety about it and feels it's not worth the risk of possibly re-injuring his ankle, i don't know. this isn't so much a concern as it is just something i wanted to point out, but going forward, i'm not going to expect Michael to steal many bases this season.

let's talk about defense for a minute. i'm surprised Michael only has one outfield assist. practically every time he's thrown a ball in from left field, the runners have been called safe. like, how is that possible? i knew eventually players would smarten up and stop running on Michael, but this is ridiculous. not only that, but once again there were several games when Michael didn't record any putouts. i guess that can be chalked up to the Indians' starting pitchers doing their jobs well and not giving up many/any fly balls to left. alas, Michael's putouts total is low and it's just not what we're used to.

did i leave anything out? tell me what you're concerned about in the comments!


May Team Batting Winner

Michael played more than enough this month in order to be considered a qualifying player. while he played extremely well, he did not put up the best average at the plate in May.

the player who had the highest May batting average out of all the qualifiers on the team was Francisco Lindor with his .373 BA. the next closest average was .336, owned by Jose Ramirez. Michael's .333 batting average ranked 3rd this month.

previous monthly batting average winners:
March/April - Jose Ramirez (.267)


Team Leads & Career Highs

in May, Michael led the team with 24 singles, 26 RBI, and 2 grand slams. he was tied for the team lead with 27 games played. Michael also tied for the least amount of strikeouts among qualifying players with 13.

he was 2nd on the team with 38 hits, 128 plate appearances, and 114 at bats. he was tied for 2nd with 1 sac fly, 26 runs, 12 walks, and 1 hit by pitch.

in addition, he was 3rd with 14 extra base hits, 7 doubles, 66 total bases, .333 batting average, and .398 OBP. he was tied for 3rd with 7 home runs and 1 stolen base.

he led the outfielders with 24 games played and 208.1 innings. he was tied for 1st with 1 double play and tied for second with 1 assist.

after looking through my records of his previous monthly performances, i found that Michael set careers high for himself in May with: 7 home runs, 2 grand slams, 26 RBI, 26 runs, 66 total bases, .579 SLG, and .977 OPS.


HR:RBI Ratio, LOB, K Rate, and Outs

Michael hit a career high 7 home runs in May. even more impressive is two of those homers were grand slams, the first and only grannies in his career (so far). for someone who's admittedly not a home run hitter, that's pretty damn good. but it wasn't enough to lead the team for the month. Michael tied for 3rd while Jose Ramirez hit 11 bombs and Francisco Lindor hit 10 in May.

this month, Michael had a career high and team high 26 RBI versus 48 men left on base. yes, that LOB looks like quite a high number, but considering Michael led the Tribe in ribbies and almost averaged one RBI per game played, he did very well. like i said above, i had my concerns that he wouldn't get many opportunities to come to bat with a lot of guys on base, but clearly he did and he drove in a high number of them.

now let me do the May HR:RBI ratio. four of Michael's 7 home runs were solo, one was a 2-run bomb, and two were grand slams. therefore, 15.4% of his 26 RBI in May came from his solo homers, while 53.8% of his 26 RBI came from all 7 of his home runs. so more than half of his runs batted in were a result of his homers, which is very rare for Michael. however, the reasoning for that (and it will probably never happen again in his career) is because of his TWO granny home runs.

Michael's K rate in May was 10.2% (13 K/128 PA). he's presently striking out once every 9.9 plate appearances. his strikeout rate should have been under 10 this month but in one game the home plate ump miscalled a strike 3 so...this is what he's stuck with.

it was an odd month for Michael as far as strikeouts went because he totaled two strikeouts in three games in May and even had one three-strikeout game as well. on May 5, he had two swinging strikeouts; on May 6, he had one swinging strikeout and one looking; on May 24, he had one looking, one swinging, and one foul tip; and on May 31, he had two swinging strikeouts. in the final game, he struck out by swinging at a pitch that was low and would have been ball 4 had he just taken it...

apart from Michael's strikeouts, he also had 36 groundouts, 14 flyouts, 12 lineouts, and 1 pop out. so he's still making contact with the ball more often than not, but he continues to hit the ball on the ground more than he gets it up in the air. i'd say there's a better chance of a batted ball resulting in a hit if it's up in the air than if it's bouncing on the grass.

(remember: the sortable player stats section on indians.com denotes outs differently from me in three distinctive ways. first, despite the site specifically stating that the flyouts total does NOT include line drives, it absolutely does. (it also includes pop outs.) second, when Michael grounds into a double play, that is counted as two groundouts on the site, due to two outs being recorded in an inning. however, in my personal documentation, i only count a GIDP as one out, because for Michael, it is only one out/one at bat/an 0-for-1 in his game line. and third, likewise with the GIDPs, i do not count sac flies as flyouts here. even though they are outs in a game and are even counted in a slump, they don't count against Michael in his game line because sac flies are considered plate appearances and not at bats.)


Streaks & Situational Statistics

Michael had a hit in 23 of the 27 games he played in May and reached base safely in 26 games. he had 4 hitless games, but still reached base in 3 of them. Michael had 10 multi-hit games, 4 three+ hit games, and 6 multi-RBI games. he had at least one RBI in 15 games. he also had 6 go-ahead hits and 6 go-ahead RBI this month. the Indians were 15-12 in games that Michael played in and 0-1 in the game he sat out.

Michael had a 19-game hitting streak that spanned between May 9-30. during his streak, he bat .366 (30-for-82) with 30 hits, 9 for extra bases, and 51 total bases. he had 21 singles, 3 doubles, 6 home runs (including one grand slam), 19 RBI, 21 runs, 6 walks, 1 hit by pitch, 1 stolen base (2nd), 1 caught stealing (2nd), and 8 first at bat hits while leaving 33 men on base in 89 plate appearances and 82 at bats. he also reached base on 1 fielder's choice and 1 forceout, had 4 GIDP and 7 strikeouts (5 swinging, 2 looking). his OBP and SLG were .416 and .622, respectively, giving him a 1.038 OPS. defensively, Michael played 148 innings in left field, recorded 23 putouts, and acquired 1 assist and 1 double play in 13 complete games. he was subbed out defensively after 8 innings in 2 separate games and 5 innings in another, and was also lifted for a pinch runner after 8 innings in 1 game. he was the DH in 2 games.

Michael had a 9-game hitting streak on the road between May 9-23. it began on May 9, then continued over May 14-16, May 18-20, and May 22-23.

Michael has an active 14-game hitting streak at home between May 1-30. it spans over May 1-3 (including a doubleheader on May 3), May 11-13, and May 24-30.

Michael has an active 14-game on-base streak at home as well.

Michael has an active 21-game on-base streak between May 8-31. it spans over May 8-9, May 11-16, May 18-20, and May 22-31.

Michael has an active 11-game on-base streak on the road between May 8-31. it spans over May 8-9, May 14-16, May 18-20, May 22-23, and May 31.

in May, Michael bat .342 (26-for-76) against right-handed pitchers and .316 (12-for-38) against left-handed pitchers. i was very happy to see his numbers against southpaws get better as the month went on.

Michael bat .397 (25-for-63) with 22 RBI in all 14 of the 14 games at home. he hit safely in all 14 of the home games he played in and safely got on base in all 14 of them as well. he had at least 1 RBI in 11 home games.

Michael bat .255 (13-for-51) with 4 RBI in 13 of 14 games away from Progressive Field. he hit safely in 9 of the 13 road games he played in and safely reached base in 12 of them. he was hitless in 4 road games, but still reached base in 3 of them. he had at least 1 RBI in 4 road games.

Michael hit .294 (10-for-34) with runners in scoring position, producing 19 RBI in May. breaking that down, he hit .500 (4-for-8) with RISP and 0 outs, .182 (2-for-11) with RISP and 1 out, and .267 (4-for-15) with RISP and 2 outs. he actually struggled with both 1 and 2 outs here this month, which was surprising.

with 2 outs in an inning, Michael bat .294 (10-for-34). he had 2 doubles, 2 grand slams, 11 RBI, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts swinging. i'm happy to see him continue to do well here and not be an inning-ender all the time.

additionally, he bat .321 (17-for-53) with 22 RBI with runners on base and .750 (3-for-4) with 10 RBI with the bases loaded. two grand slams in particular helped his stats in the latter situation.

Michael also bat .344 (21-for-61) with the bases empty. he hit 4 doubles and 4 home runs, giving him 4 RBI. he totaled 5 walks , 1 hit by pitch, and 8 strikeouts (6 swinging, 2 looking) as well.

furthermore, Michael had a 1.0 fWAR (wins above replacement), a 164 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus--the ability to create runs compared to the league average), and a -0.9 BsR (baserunning runs above average with stolen bases and caught stealings) in May. his wRC+ ranked 4th, his WAR ranked 6th, and his BsR ranked 15th among 16 total qualifying American League left fielders. [these stats all came courtesy of fangraphs.com.]


Versus AL Central Division Teams

vs. the Kansas City Royals, Michael bat .429 (6-for-14) in 3 home games in May. the Indians went 2-1 in the games he played in. overall, Michael had 3 singles and 3 extra base hits, including 1 double and 2 home runs (1 being a grand slam), as well as 9 RBI, 6 runs, 2 first at bats hits, and 13 total bases. he also reached base on 1 fielder's choice, grounded into 1 double play, and left 7 men on base. furthermore, he had a .429 OBP, .929 SLG, and 1.357 OPS. in left field, Michael recorded 2 putouts while playing 18 innings/2 complete games. he was the DH for 1 game. fantastic series.

vs. the Detroit Tigers, Michael bat .357 (5-for-14) in 3 road games in May. the Indians went 1-2 in the games he played in. overall, Michael had 4 singles and 1 extra base hit--a home run, as well as 1 RBI, 3 runs, 2 walks, 1 first at bat hit, and 8 total bases. he also had 1 strikeout swinging and left 6 men on base. furthermore, he had a .438 OBP, .571 SLG, and 1.009 OPS. in left field, Michael recorded 1 putout while playing 16 innings, but only 1 complete game. he was lifted for a pinch runner in the top of the 9th inning in 1 game because the Indians were winning. he was the DH for 1 game. while Michael didn't drive in any players other than himself this series, he still performed well against a team he typically does well against anyway.

vs. the Chicago White Sox, Michael bat .455 (5-for-11) in 3 home games in May. the Indians went 3-0 in the games he played in. overall, Michael had 4 singles and 1 extra base hit--a home run, as well as 2 RBI, 5 runs, 1 walk, 1 hit by pitch, 3 first at bat hits, and 8 total bases. he also grounded into 2 double plays and left 7 men on base. furthermore, he had a .538 OBP, .727 SLG, and 1.266 OPS. in left field, Michael recorded 5 putouts while playing 23 innings, but only 2 complete games. he was subbed out defensively after 5 innings in 1 game because the Indians were winning. Michael faced three starters in this series for the first time in his career and got at least one hit off each of them. great job.

vs. the Minnesota Twins, Michael bat .000 (0-for-3) in 1 road game in May. the Indians won the game he played in. overall, Michael had 1 run and 2 walks. he also had 2 strikeouts swinging and left 3 men on base. furthermore, he had a .400 OBP, .000 SLG, and .400 OPS. in left field, Michael recorded 2 putouts while playing 9 innings/1 complete game. i'm hopeful that as this series continues with three more games in June, he'll get a couple hits and end up having a good series altogether.


Interleague Play

in May, Michael played three of the four games against two National League opponents, going 5-for-15 and batting .333 overall. i'm very happy with that.

vs. the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park (no designated hitter allowed), Michael bat .167 (1-for-6) in 2 road games in May. the Indians went 1-1 in the games he played in. overall, Michael had 1 single, 1 RBI, 1 run, 2 walks, and 1 total base. he also left 3 men on base. furthermore, he had a .375 OBP, .167 SLG, and .542 OPS. in left field, Michael played 17 innings/2 complete games and recorded 1 putout. this was a rough series for Michael. (the Indians have one more series with this team at Progressive Field in June.)

vs. the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field (no designated hitter allowed), Michael bat .444 (4-for-9) in 2 road games in May. the Indians went 2-0 in the games he played in. overall, Michael had 4 singles, 1 RBI, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 caught stealing (2nd), 1 first at bat hit, and 4 total bases. he also had 1 strikeout swinging and left 5 men on base. furthermore, he had a .500 OBP, .444 SLG, and .944 OPS. in left field, Michael played 17 innings, but only 1 complete game. he was subbed out defensively after 8 innings in 1 game because the Indians were winning and Michael had done more than enough in the game. he recorded 6 putouts and acquired 1 assist and 1 double play as well. that's a really good performance and only adds to the argument that having Michael in the 2016 World Series could have been a huge difference maker.


League Rankings

Michael has many stats from the month of May that rank in the Top 10 around the American League and MLB and they include the following (i used mlb.mlb.com/stats as a reference): 

among qualifying left fielders in the American League, Michael ranked 1st in RBI (26) and runs (26); 2nd in plate appearances (128); tied for 2nd in home runs (7); 3rd in singles (24) and at bats (114); tied for 3rd in hits (38) and doubles (7); 4th in extra base hits (14), total bases (66), batting average (.333), OBP (.398), SLG (.579), and OPS (.977); tied for 4th in walks (12); tied for 5th in sac flies (1); tied for 7th in games played (27); and tied for 8th in hit by pitches (1). Michael also ranked tied for 15th out of 16 players in strikeouts (13), meaning he was tied for the 2nd least amount of Ks among AL left fielders.

among qualifying outfielders in the American League, Michael was 1st in RBI; tied for 1st in runs; tied for 3rd in hits, singles, plate appearances, and at bats; 6th in batting average and OBP; tied for 6th in home runs; 7th in total bases and OPS; 8th in SLG; and tied for 8th in extra base hits, doubles, and sac flies. plus, out of 33 players, he was tied for 32nd in strikeouts, or tied for the 2nd hardest player to K. 

among qualifying players in the American League, Michael ranked 1st in RBI; tied for 2nd in runs; 4th plate appearances; tied for 6th in at bats; tied for 7th in hits; tied for 8th in singles; 9th in total bases; 10th in batting average; and tied for 10th in home runs. besides that, he was tied for 86th out of 91 players in strikeouts, or tied for 6th hardest to strike out. 

among all qualifying left fielders in the Major Leagues, Michael was 1st in RBI and runs; 2nd in plate appearances; tied for 2nd in home runs; 3rd in at bats; tied for 3rd in hits and singles; 4th in extra base hits and total bases; tied for 4th in doubles; 5th in batting average, OBP, and OPS; tied for 5th in walks; 6th in SLG; tied for 6th in sac flies; and tied for 9th in hit by pitches and games played. he also ranked tied for 28th of 31 in strikeouts, or tied for the 3rd hardest to K among left fielders in MLB. 

among all qualifying outfielders in the Major Leagues, Michael ranked 1st in RBI; tied for 1st in runs; 3rd in plate appearances; tied for 4th in hits and at bats; tied for 5th in singles; 7th in total bases and OBP; tied for 7th in home runs; 8th in batting average and OPS; tied for 9th in extra base hits; and 10th in SLG. Michael also ranked tied for 64th out of 67 players in strikeouts, or tied for the 3rd hardest MLB outfielder to strike out. 

among all qualifying players in the Major Leagues, Michael was tied for 2nd in runs, 3rd in RBI, 5th in plate appearances, tied for 8th in at bats, 10th in total bases, and tied for 10th in hits. in addition, Michael's strikeouts were tied for 159th out of 173 making him tied for the 15th hardest player to K.


May Standout Games, Spotlights, & Quotes

talk about starting the month with a bang. Michael only had one hit in the game versus the Texas Rangers on May 1, but it was a BIG one. or, more like, GRAND. the Tribe was down, 6-2, in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs and bases loaded--Bradley Zimmer at 3rd, Francisco Lindor at 2nd, and Jason Kipnis at 1st. Michael faced right-handed closer Keone Kela. he took the first pitch for a strike, then swung and missed at Kela's second pitch to quickly go down in the count, 0-2. Michael swung at the next pitch and this time he made contact, sending a high fly ball to deep right field for a game-tying grand slam!

photo courtesy of Tony Dejak via Associated Press
photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com
photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

according to MLBBarrelAlert, Kela threw an 84.6 mph curveball, which Michael hit 392 feet. it was a 101.2 mph slam with a launch angle of 31 degrees.

Michael was the first Indians player to hit a game-tying grand slam in the 9th inning since Tony Harrah, who did it in Oakland on July 20, 1980, per Jordan Bastian's article on mlb.com/indians. 

"it was great," Michael declared after the game in Bastian and Andrew Mearns' article on mlb.com/cut4. "it was awesome to do it at home, in front of your home fans, so you get the cheers and not the boos. it came at a good time, where it got us back in the ballgame and gave us a chance to win the ballgame. i think that was most important."

more pictures and quotes can be found in my special separate Brantley's First Career Grand Slam!!! blog.

Michael got his first multi-hit game of the month on May 2 when he went 2-for-5 versus Rangers. he came to bat in the bottom of the 1st inning with 1 out, Kipnis at 3rd base, Lindor at 1st, 1 out, and no score. lefty Matt Moore toed the rubber and on the 5th pitch of a 1-2 count, Michael sent a ground ball single into center field that scored Kip and gave the Indians a 1-0 lead. it also gave Michael his first go-ahead hit and go-ahead RBI of May. Lindor advanced to 2nd base. the pitch sequence went: foul 3rd base side, called strike, ball, foul right side, single. Moore was not happy that his third pitch to Michael was called a ball, and it probably could have been strike 3.

photo courtesy of @IndiansUmp on twitter

however, Moore's second pitch, which was a called strike, was actually a bit low and probably should have been ball 1. so it might have been a makeup call. Tom Hamilton also commented on the WTAM 1100 radio broadcast that a pitcher won't be a strike call if his catcher doesn't "stick" the catch, and remarked Juan Centeno was moving his glove from side to side.

photo courtesy of baseballsavant.mlb.com

Michael later scored on Edwin Encarnacion's 3-run home run to left field. that marked the first time this season that Michael was driven in by a teammate other than Yonder Alonso.

the Indians had a commanding 10-2 lead when Michael led off the bottom of the 6th inning. after right-hander Nick Gardewine threw Michael three straight balls, he finally got a called strike. then Michael swung at Gardewine's next offering and hit a sharp line drive double to right-center field.

on May 3, in Game 1 of a traditional doubleheader (makeup game from April) versus the Toronto Blue Jays, Michael was the designated hitter for the first time this season and went 4-for-5 with three doubles!

he collected his first hit when he led off the bottom of the 4th inning with the Indians down, 5-0. after a 2-0 count from southpaw Jaime Garcia, Michael hit a sharp line drive single to right field. he later scored on Brandon Guyer's double to left field.

Michael got another plate appearance in the bottom of the 4th inning with 2 outs, Ramirez at 1st base, and the Tribe up, 6-5. right-hander Danny Barnes was on the mound and as he threw his 6th pitch to Michael--a ball--Ramirez safely stole 2nd base. then on the 7th pitch of a 3-2 count, Michael took ball 4. the pitch sequence went: ball, called strike (shoulda been a ball), called strike, ball, foul off to the left, ball/Ramirez stolen base, ball. this was just Michael's second walk of the year in 87 plate appearances.

his next at bat came when he led off the bottom of the 7th inning with the Indians behind, 8-7. he faced right-hander Tyler Clippard and on a 2-2 count, he hits a line drive double to left field.

here's where things got interesting. Michael helped the Tribe tie the game up a 9 in the bottom of the 8th inning, though he originally did not get an RBI. with Ramirez at 1st base, 2 outs, and the Tribe down 9-8, Michael swung at righty Ryan Tepera's first offering and hit a ground ball past the 1st baseman, down the right field line, and into the corner. Ramirez scored and Michael was then caught in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd base to end the inning. what was originally called an RBI double was changed to Michael reaching on a fielding error.

photos courtesy of @Indians on twitter

however, before the Indians game on May 8, Andrew Wagner's article on mlb.com/indians revealed a ruling change. MLB reviewed Michael's at bat and changed the result back to an RBI double.

Michael's final hit of the day came in the bottom of the 11th inning with Ramirez at 1st base, 1 out, and the Indians down, 13-9. going against right-hander Roberto Osuna, he sent a sharp line drive double to right field after a 1-2 count. the pitch sequence went: called strike, foul off to the left, ball, double. Ramirez and Michael soon after scored on Encarnacion's 2-run single to center field.

with the addition of that RBI double, Michael obtained his first 4-hit game of 2018 and first since May 5, 2016. Michael has now had at least one 4-hit game in nine of his 10 big league seasons, with 2017 being the missing 4-hit campaign. Michael's four hits and three doubles were also both club game highs for the year through this point. his three doubles marked a single-game career high as well.

in Game 2 versus the Blue Jays on May 3, Michael went 1-for-3. he got his first hit of the game and fourth of the day in the bottom of the 2nd inning. he led it off with the Indians behind, 1-0. facing right-hander Joe Biagini for the first time in his career, he hit a ground ball single that deflected off the 2nd baseman's glove and into right field on a 1-1 count.

in Michael's fourth plate appearance in the bottom of the 5th inning with 1 out, Kipnis at 3rd base, and Ramirez at 2nd, the Indians had a big 10-2 lead. on the first pitch from righty Luis Santos, he sent a high fly ball to right field, scoring Kipnis and giving Michael an RBI sac fly.

before Michael's night was done, he also drew a 1-out walk in the bottom of the 7th inning with Ramirez at 1st base and the Tribe up, 12-2, after a 3-0 count from right-hander Carlos Ramirez. Terry Francona then lifted him for a pinch runner. Michael ended the day going 4-for-8 with two doubles, one RBI, two runs, and two walks between both contests.

on May 11, Francona put Michael in the 2 hole in the order versus the Kansas City Royals. it was the first time since May 13, 2013 that Michael bat 2nd. it didn't seem to bother him though because he got a hit in his first at bat in the bottom of the 1st inning. when facing right-hander Jason Hammel with 1 out and no score, Michael sent a line drive single to right field on a 2-2 count. the pitch sequence went: called strike, ball, foul 3rd base suite level, ball, single.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

shortly after, he scored on Ramirez's 2-run home run to right-center field.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

in Michael's third at bat in the bottom of the 4th inning, the Tribe was clinging to a 5-4 lead when Michael came to bat in the bottom of the 4th inning. there were 2 outs and the bases were loaded--Tyler Naquin at 3rd, Roberto Perez at 2nd, and Lindor at 1st. on the 8th pitch of a 2-2 count from Hammel, Michael hit a grand slam to right-center field! the pitch sequence went: ball, called strike, ball, foul over the 1st base bag, foul 3rd base side, foul straight back, foul over the 1st base dugout, slam! and that knocked Hammel out of the game.

photos courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com
photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

according to MLBBarrelAlert, Michael hit Hammel's 91.9 mph four-seamer 374 feet. it came off his bat with an exit velo of 101.2 mph at a launch angle of 32 degrees as well.

coming in, Michael was just 2-for-13 lifetime again him with one double and one RBI, so if you predicted he'd hit a ball out of the park, well, i don't believe you lol

fact: both of Michael's grand slams have come with 2 outs, but that's been his worst RISP category so far this season, as he was a mere 3-for-15 after the slam at this time, and two of those three hits were grannies.

Bastian pointed out that after going 3,930 plate appearances in his MLB career without a grand slam, Michael's now hit two in his last 37 plate appearances. and Casey Harrison noted how Michael's first 72 MLB home runs were not grand slams, but his last two were.

more historical information about Michael's two homers in one month in reference to the ballclub can be found in the subsequent In Indians History section of this blog.

in the bottom of the 6th inning, the Indians lead was down to just 9-8. Lindor was at 1st base and righty Brad Keller was on the mound for the Royals. after a 1-2 count, Michael grounded out to 1st, who threw to the shortstop to force out Lindor, and then the shortstop threw to the pitcher covering 1st to get Michael out. it went down as a double play, but with this plate appearance, Michael became a qualifying player for the first time in 2018!

Michael went 3-for-4 in the game versus the Royals on May 12. he got his first base knock in the bottom of the 1st inning with Lindor at 2nd base, no outs, and the Indians down, 1-0. after a 1-1 count from right-hander Jakob Junis, Michael hit a game-tying, sharp ground ball single to right field.

the game was tied at 2 in the bottom of the 6th inning with Lindor at 2nd base and no outs. Michael sent Junis' 1-2 pitch down the right field line for a double, giving the Tribe the lead and him a go-ahead hit/RBI. this RBI hit then tied him for the team lead in ribbies with Lindor and Ramirez, who all had 24. (and Michael played 11 and 10 less games than them, respectively.) he later scored on Alonso's RBI single to right field. the pitch sequence went: called strike, called strike, pickoff attempt at 2nd, ball, double.

Michael got his third hit of the night against righty Kevin McCarthy in the bottom of the 7th inning with 1 out and the Indians on top, 5-2. on a 3-2 count, he sent a sharp line drive single to left field. the pitch sequence went: ball, ball, ball, called strike, swinging strike, single.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

before McCarthy threw a pitch to Encarnacion, he threw to 1st base in an attempt to pick off Michael. that resulted in a throwing error and so Michael advanced to 3rd base.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

Michael later scored the Indian's final run of the night on Encarnacion's RBI single to center field.

Lindor spoke on Michael's performance during his postgame interview in the clubhouse. via a video on cleveland.com's youtube channel, he said, "Brantley's a great guy and um, he had great at bats today. um, every at bat was a quality at bat he had today and um, he, he was a huge part of our um, our success today. he put guys, um, moved guys for Josey and Encarnacion that were behind him."

Michael got his third consecutive multi-RBI game on May 13 versus the Royals. he only had one hit in five at bats, but it was a good one. the Indians led 9-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning, and Michael came to bat with Lindor at 1st base and lefty Brian Flynn on the mound. after a 1-0 count, he hit a fly ball to deep right field for a 2-run home run! that was Michael's second home run in three days/games, and first that wasn't a grand slam since April 27. in addition, it marked Michael's first homer off a lefty this year!

photo courtesy of Tony Dejak via Associated Press

per MLBBarrelAlert, Flynn threw Michael a 90.4 mph four-seamer, which Michael hit 377 feet at 98.7 mph and 26 degrees.

he actually had a chance to hit another granny though in the bottom of the 2nd inning. the bases were loaded with Greg Allen at 3rd, Rajai Davis at 2nd, and Lindor at 1st. he faced left-handed starter Danny Duffy with 1 out and after an 0-1 count, he hit a ground ball to the 1st baseman, who threw Lindor out at 2nd. Allen scored and Michael got an RBI fielder's choice. it was the first time this year that Michael didn't get a hit with the bases loaded, dropping him to 3-for-4 with just 11 RBI lol

on May 15, Michael's 31st birthdayπŸŽˆπŸŽ‰ (and last one as an Indian😞), he went 1-for-4 against the Detroit Tigers. coming into this game, Michael was 4-for-11 on his bday with one double, one triple, one home run, one RBI, three walks, and one strikeout. in his first plate appearance against southpaw Francisco Liriano in the top of the 1st inning, with Rajai Davis at 2nd base, no outs, and no score, Michael drew a walk after a full count. Davis started at 1st base, then moved up to 2nd on a wild pitch. the pitch sequence went: ball, ball (wild pitch), called strike, foul down the left side, ball, ball. he later scored on Brandon Guyer's grand slam to left field. Guyer was the first Indians player to hit a granny since Michael hit his second of the month/season on May 11.

photo courtesy of Carlos Osorio via Associated Press

Michael got a hit in the top of the 2nd inning with 2 outs and the Indians up, 5-1, when he sent a ground ball single into right field on Liriano's first offering.

in Michael's fourth plate appearance of the night in the top of the 6th inning, he faced right-hander Zac Reininger. the Tribe led, 7-3, and had Davis on 2nd base with 1 out when Michael drew a nine-pitch walk, his second walk of the night. the sequence went: called strike, called strike, ball, foul back, ball, foul back, ball, foul left side, ball. clearly, he likes to walk on his birthday... cake hangover? lolπŸŽ‚

on May 16 versus the Tigers, Michael put up a 3-for-5 showing. in his first at bat in the top of the 1st inning with Davis at 1st base, no outs, and no score, he hit a line drive single to center field on a 2-0 count from left-hander Ryan Carpenter. the sequence went: pickoff attempt at 1st, ball, ball, pickoff attempt, pickoff attempt, single.

when leading off the top of the 5th inning, the Indians were up, 5-0. he swung at Carpenter's first pitch and sent a high fly ball to deep right-center field for a home run!

photo courtesy of Carlos Osorio via Associated Press

per MLBBarrelAlert, Michael hit the 88.0 mph four-seamer 418 feet at a launch angle of 27 degrees. it also came off his bat at 103.9 mph.

with 2 outs and the Tribe still up, 6-0, in the top of the 9th inning, Michael faced righty Artie Lewicki. first pitch swinging, he sent a line drive single to left field for his third hit of the day. he was then lifted for pinch runner, Greg Allen. after this hit, Hammy asked on WTAM 1100 if anyone still wondered why the Indians re-signed Michael? then he mentioned how there were so many unhappy fan reactions once Michael's club option was picked up, but now all those people love Michael. ha! love Hammy for calling out the haters!

after the game, Andre Knott, in-game reporter for SportsTime Ohio, interviewed Michael on the field. in the video on SportsTime Ohio's twitter account, they discussed the first two losses in the Detroit series, playing team baseball, learning from mistakes, and going through adversity.

then Knott remarked, "you make hitting very practical. and no matter what question i ask you, you always tell me what?" "keep it simple," Michael offered, smiling.

Knott continued for Michael, "and they gotta throw the ball and i gotta hit it, right?" "they gotta throw the ball over the white part of the plate and i gotta try to put a good swing on it."

at the end, Knott revealed the real reason why he wanted to talk to Michael: "Happy Birthday, old man. i know it was yesterday, but we didn't get you..." "yeah, you're a day late. you're a day late." "i said Happy... bye, 31-year old. see, he's not even nicer at 31." Michael laughed. "i appreciate it, thank you."

on May 17, an Indians off day, Bastian posted a Q&A with President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti that was conducted sometime during the previous Tigers series. Antonetti was asked how much he's enjoyed seeing Michael return like he has after all he's been through. from JB's blog on bastian.mlblogs.com, he replied, "i'm really happy for Michael, because we had the benefit of seeing all of his hard work and how dedicated he was throughout the rehab process and how determined he was to get back being healthy and being the player we all know he's capable of being. i didn't really have a lot of anxiety about Michael's performance when he was healthy. he's demonstrated, for the bulk of his Major League career, that when he's healthy, he's a really great player. it's great now that he's healthy and able to perform. we're lucky to have witnessed it." (read: this is Brant's final year here and we're lucky to have watched him develop into the star he is now.πŸ˜•)

on May 19, the Indians faced southpaw Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros and Michael went 1-for-4 the day. in his first AB in the top of the 1st inning with 1 out and no score, he hit a 1-0 pitch to left-center field for a home run! that gave Michael a 9-game hitting streak and, more excitingly, marked the first time in his career that he ever hit a home run to left field!!!

photo courtesy of Eric Christian Smith via Associated Press

Home Run Tracker logged Keuchel's pitch as a 76.9 mph slider, which Michael hit 348 feet at 94 mph with a 31 degree launch angle.

if you recall, Michael also hit a home run off Keuchel on April 25, 2017, which was his first homer off a lefty that year. prior to this game, Michael only had one career homer/extra base hit against Keuchel (4-for-18 lifetime), and that was it. coming back to the present, at this point in May, Michael had five home runs for the month and, surprisingly, three of those came against lefties. the other two were the two grand slams he hit (against righties).

not everyone was impressed by Michael's 7th homer of the season though. Christian Boutwell, who normally covers the Astros, wrote an article for mlb.com/indians that pointed out how, of the six Indians to make contact with the ball in the Tribe's half of the 1st inning, Michael's exit velocity (94.3 mph) was "the softest." like, was that even necessary? Boutwell noted that Keuchel's pitch had a 24-percent probability of being a hit and it landed in the short porch of the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park in left field. whatever, it's still a home run in the record books.😀 (note: later on at night, the link/author changed to the game story by Alyson Footer, covering for Bastian while he was off, and this blurb was included in it. Boutwell's tweet proves he did initially write this as his own separate article.)

in the morning on May 22, the Cleveland Indians twitter account posted a Get To Know Michael Brantley video. WTAM 1100 radio broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus asked Michael the questions. here is the fun Q&A:

if you were stranded on the side of the road, who is the first teammate you would call for help? "i'm calling Josh Tomlin. uh, aka MacGyver."

which teammate would you like to or not like to be stuck in an elevator with? "Josh Tomlin. i don't wanna be stuck in an elevator with him. he would try to do something crazy and we'd probably end up, cutting something we weren't... the elevator would end up crashing or something, i don't know."

which teammate spends the most time looking in the mirror? "Francisco Lindor. he's always checking himself out, making sure his uniform's proper, his hair's done, he's got his cologne on. yeah, absolutely."

what would Tito's walk up song be? "pass. i ain't gettin' in trouble," Michael smiled wide.

do you have any superstitions or rituals? "yeah, so when i take the field, uh, i step over the line with my right foot and when i come back, i step over it with my left foot."

how many pieces of gum do you think Tito can fit into his mouth? "15 to 20, at least."

are you a dog or a cat person? "dog."

favorite sports team other than the Indians? "Duke Blue Devils." (that surprised me. i thought he'd say his Minnesota Vikings.🀷)

during the game against the Chicago Cubs, Michael went 2-for-6. in the top of the 3rd inning with Lindor at 1st base, no outs, and no score, he hit a ground ball single to right field after a 3-2 count from right-hander Tyler Chatwood. and that gave Michael an 11-game hitting streak and 12-game on-base streak, as well as an 8-game hitting streak on the road and 9-game on-base streak on the road! Michael and Lindor later scored on Ramirez's 3-run homer to right field.

Michael's next hit came in the top of the 4th inning. the Indians led, 4-0, and he faced left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery. on the 7th pitch of a 3-2 count, Michael hit a sharp ground ball single to right field. the pitch sequence went: called strike, ball, ball, called strike (that Michael didn't agree with), ball, foul down the 1st base side, single. he scored his second run of the night on Melky Cabrera's ground ball double to left field.

during this game, Paul Hoynes posted an article on cleveland.com with some thoughts about Michael's season so far from the Indians' President of Baseball Ops and the manager. "what we continue to see from Michael is a really productive offensive player," Antonetti lauded. "he understands what it takes to be a successful hitter by controlling the count and controlling the strike zone."

when Francona was asked what he's seen from Michael over the first month and a half of the regular season, he declared, "that he's Brantley. he's such a pro. you put him out in left field, leave him alone, stay out of his way. you know you're not going to pinch hit for him. you're not going to platoon. he works so hard. it's not by luck that he just showed back up (and started hitting) because it's not that easy to miss that amount of time and then not miss a beat at the plate. he's amazing."

Tito also believes Michael is a smarter player now than he was two or three years ago. "i think that happens with most players. he might be a half step (slower), but he can still run the bases. he can still steal a base because he's so smart. but if that's the worst thing that happened, i think we're in pretty good shape."

prior to the game on May 23, Michael sat down with Tom Verducci for MLB Tonight and discussed a variety of topics. he was specifically asked if he was joining the launch angle revolution because his slugging percentage was up to a career high this year. "i don't believe in that term," Michael smiled. "uh, i'm a gap-to-gap guy. you know, if the ball goes out, it's great. um, you know, launch angle is a byproduct of a good swing. i try the ball a little more out in front than i normally would and the ball went out of the yard. uh, i don't try to uppercut the ball, i just try to hit line drives and get the barrel to the ball consistently as possible."

how much does Michael still rely on his hitting coach father, former big leaguer, Mickey Brantley, and talk hitting? "every day. uh, i talked to him this morning at breakfast and, you know, we were talking about the game last night. uh, you know, it's something i cherish and we have a great relationship when it comes to hitting. i mean, he built my swing since i was, you know, five years old, uh working at the house and batting cages in the offseason. um, i appreciate everything he's done for me to get me to this level and what he continues to still do for me."

you can watch the entire video on MLB Tonight's youtube channel for more on the team's performance thus far and the memories he has from the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field when he had to sit out and watch due to him recovering from his biceps tenodesis (surgery).

in the finale game against the Cubs, Michael went 2-for-3 and extended all his streaks in his first AB. in the top of the 1st game with 1 out and no score, Michael hit a soft fly ball single to center field after a 2-1 count from lefty Jon Lester. the pitch sequence went: called strike, ball, ball, single. that gave Michael a 12-game hitting streak, 13-game on-base streak, 9-game hitting streak on the road, and 10-game on-base streak on the road!

but an unfortunate incident occurred later in the inning. when Ramirez swung and missed for strike 3 on the 8th pitch of a 3-2 count during his at bat, Michael took off for 2nd base. he was then thrown out when Cubs catcher Willson Contreras threw the ball to 2nd baseman Javier Baez, who easily tagged out Michael. that was just his third attempt to steal a base this year, first of the month, and it marked his second caught stealing of 2018. maybe there really is something to Tito's comment that Michael is a step slower this season... let's look at some history. Michael hasn't totaled more than one caught stealing in a season since 2013, when he had four. he only had one CS in each of his 2014, 2015, and 2017 campaigns.

in the top of the 3rd inning, Michael came to bat with Davis at 2nd base, 2 outs, and still no score. after a 2-0 count from Lester, Michael hit a line drive single to center field to put the Tribe on top, 1-0! even better than that, this hit broke an 0-for-9 skid with runners in scoring position for Dr. Smooth!

photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

Michael's third plate appearance resulted in a nine-pitch walk when he led off the top of the 6th inning against Lester with the Indians still up, 1-0. here's the pitch sequence: swinging strike, swinging strike, ball, ball, foul, foul, ball, foul back, ball.

Michael also finally acquired his first outfield assist of the season and turned a double play in this game. details about that can be found in my In The Field section further down in this blog.

after the game, Hoynsie asked Tito what he could say about Michael's May. from a video on mlb.com/indians, the skipper corrected, "well, i would go further than that. i would, i mean, he's everything we talk about, you know, he's, he's a pro. and it's fun to watch him have success cause, again, i probably got to see it more than most people, you know, the work he has put in to get here. so, to watch him have success really feels good."

Michael got a go-ahead hit and RBI for the second straight day on May 24 in the game versus the Astros. in his second at bat in the bottom of the 3rd inning, he faced right-hander Charlie Morton with Perez at 3rd base, Lindor at 2nd, 1 out, and no score. after taking a called strike, Michael hit a ground ball into center field, for a 2-run single! that gave him a 13-game hitting streak--the longest active streak in MLB! he also had a 14-game on-base streak and 8-game hitting streak at home! according to Casey Harrison's article on mlb.com/indians, Michael's hit had an 18 percent hit probability, per Statcast.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

that was Michael's only hit of the game. in a crazy twist, his three outs were all strikeouts. he first struck out looking in the bottom of the 1st inning after an 0-2 count from Morton. he fouled the first two pitches before taking a called strike 3. in the bottom of the 5th inning, he struck out swinging against Morton on the 4th pitch of an 0-2 count. the pitch sequence went: called strike, foul down the left field line, foul off home plate, swung and miss. then when leading off the bottom of the 8th inning, he took two called strikes from right-hander Collin McHugh before striking out on a foul tip.

this is only the 9th time in Michael's 946-game career where he totaled three strikeouts in one game. the last time Michael struck out three times in one game was on September 14, 2013! he actually struck out three times in one game in three games that season. he also had three Ks in a game four times in 2011 and one time in 2010.

in the past two games, Michael's RBIs have accounted for all of the Indians' offense. unlike the previous night's game though, when Michael's go-ahead RBI was all they needed to win, 1-0, his go-ahead 2-run single in this game was not enough and they lost, 8-2.

Michael had a multi-hit game on May 25 versus the Astros and he scored the first run of the game. it all started in the bottom of the 3rd inning, when he came to bat with 2 outs against southpaw Dallas Keuchel and no score. on the 6th pitch of a 2-2 count, he hit a line drive to right field for a double! the pitch sequence went: foul 1st base side, ball, called strike, ball, foul by 1st base coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., double. the extra base hit gave Michael a 14-game hitting streak (still longest active streak in MLB), 15-game on-base streak and 9-game hitting streak at home!

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter
photos courtesy of David Dermer via Associated Press

Ramirez followed that up with a double of his own to left, driving Michael home and giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead.

Michael's second hit transpired in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Indians up, 2-0, and 1 out. after a 1-0 count from right-hander Will Harris, he sent a line drive single to right field. later, during the inning, he stole 2nd base. there were 2 outs in the inning and righty Joe Smith, the former Indian, was on the mound for the Astros. he ran on the 0-1 count, as ball 1 was thrown to Encarnacion, and slid in safely for his first stolen base after being caught in his previous two attempts, as well as his first of May and second on the season.

in Terry Pluto's morning article on cleveland.com on May 26, he wrote a section about Michael, sharing that Antonetti recently told him, "Michael is so much about what we want our team to be all about. it goes way beyond the field." he and GM Mike Chernoff picked up Michael's $12 million club option because they believed he would come back strong because he's "quietly relentless."

during the game versus the Astros, Michael hit his 8th homer of the season! it happened with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th inning and the Indians clinging to a 7-6 lead. he faced right-hander Brad Peacock and on the 7th pitch of a 3-2 count, he hit a high fly ball to deep center field! that marked six homers in the month of May for Michael, a new career high! the pitch sequence went: ball, ball, foul down the 1st base line, foul on the left side, foul 1st base side, ball, home run.

photos courtesy of David Petkiewicz via cleveland.com

according to MLBBarrelAlert, the ball traveled 422 feet at a 26 degree angle with a 103.4 mph exit velocity. the pitch Michael hit was a 93.3 mph four-seamer.

photos courtesy of @DingerTracker on twitter

the homer was his only hit of the night, as he went 1-for-5. but more importantly, the homer gave Michael a 15-game hitting streak (still the longest active streak in MLB), 16-game on-base streak and 10-game hitting streak at home!

in the finale game versus the Astros on May 27, Michael got majorly screwed in his first at bat in the bottom of the 1st inning. Lindor was on 1st base and there were no outs in the scoreless game when Michael faced right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole. for the record, Cole didn't throw one strike to Michael, yet after a 3-2 count, a delayed strike 3 was called. the pitch sequence went: swinging strike (ball low and out of the zone), ball, foul (ball low), ball, ball, strike 3 (ball outside). Michael was all ready to take his walk, but home plate umpire Tony Randazzo decided to call a strike. what a bunch of bullshit. take a look for yourself.

photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter
photo courtesy of @TJZuppe on twitter

you know Michael doesn't strike out looking much because of his good eye at the plate. and this was a blown call if ever there was one. if only Michael hadn't swung at the first pitch...

luckily, Michael got a hit in his next at bat. he led off the bottom of the 3rd inning with the Tribe up, 3-1. after a 3-2 count from Cole, he hit a ground ball single into right field! you can't call a strike on that! ha! the hit further extended all his streaks to a 16-game hitting streak (longest streak by an Indian this season and still the longest active streak in the majors), 17-game on-base streak, and 11-game hitting streak at home.

per Jordan Bastian, Michael's hitting streak is the longest since Mike Napoli had a 16-gamer in 2016. Ramirez also had an 18-game hitting streak that year.

Michael got another hit in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs, Erik Gonzalez at 2nd base, Lindor, at 1st, 2 outs, and the Indians down, 8-7. he took two called strikes from right-hander Hector Rondon before hitting a game-tying line drive single to left field to score Gonzalez! the ball actually ricocheted off 3rd baseman Alex Bregman's glove and into left, but whatever. and that RBI was Michael's 24th of the month, giving him a new career high for May!

the streaks continued on May 28 in the game versus the Chicago White Sox. Michael only went 1-for-4 but his first at bat hit was all he needed to keep them going. in the bottom of the 1st inning with 1 out and the Indians trailing, 1-0, Michael swung at righty Dylan Covey's 0-1 pitch and hit a ground ball single to center field! that gave Michael a 17-game hitting streak (the longest since Ramirez's 18-gamer from July 26 - August 14, 2016, per Harrison's mlb.com/indians article), 18-game on-base streak, and 12-game hitting streak at home.

Michael had a great game on May 29 versus the White Sox, going 3-for-4. he came to bat against right-hander Lucas Giolito with 1 out and no score in the bottom of the 1st inning. after a 2-1 count, he hit a line drive single to right field. that gave Michael an 18-game hitting streak, 19-game on-base streak, and 13-game hitting streak at home. after the hit, Hammy informed everyone listening to the game on WTAM 1100 that Michael's 18-game hitting streak was tied with Wilson Ramos of the Tampa Bay Rays for the longest in the majors this season!

he later scored the first run of the game on Ramirez's double to left field.

in Michael's next at bat in the bottom of the 3rd inning with 1 out and the Indians up, 2-1, he swung at Giolito's first pitch and hit a home run to center field! it represented his 9th home run of the season and is the fastest he's hit nine home runs in a season since 2014 (45 games versus 43 this year).

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com
photo courtesy of @MLBBarrelAlert on twitter

he hit a 92.1 mph four-seamer 407 feet, and it had an exit velocity of 103.3 mph and 25 degree launch angle, according to MLBBarrelAlert.

Michael got his third hit in the bottom of the 7th inning with the bases loaded--Perez at 3rd, Allen at 2nd, and Lindor at 1st, no outs, and the Tribe up, 5-1. lefty Aaron Bummer was on the mound for Chicago and after a 1-1 count, Michael hit a sharp ground ball to left field that scored Perez!

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com
photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

Michael did an on-field postgame interview with Knott following the Tribe's win. when Knott inquired what the main key is for him to stay consistent, day in and day out, to be able to have the swing that he has. "just my routine. uh, i really believe in my routine, every day i do the same thing. uh, to any kid out there, i hit off a tee every single day. uh, yeah, it's boring, yeah, you know, repetition, but uh, it lets me find my swing and where i need to be at every day. takes great skill to hit a line drive to the back of the cage off a tee. uh, i believe in it. i believe it works for me so uh, i continue to do it. back up the middle, consistent as possible, over and over and over, and i believe you'll have a good swing."

he also talked about playing as a team, having momentum from their comeback on May 27, and playing well against the AL Central. the entire interview can be found on the FOX Sports Ohio youtube channel.

Francona and Mike Clevinger both provided some thoughts on Michael in their postgame pressers. "all the things that we always say about him, and it's it's a lot of fun to watch it though," Tito shared via a video on mlb.com/indians. "i mean, when you get a really good hitter, a really good player, and he feels confident, and then take the fact that he's healthy, and he works at it, still. i mean, he, it just doesn't come out, he doesn't stroll out on the field and do what he's doing, but boy is it fun to watch.

"i don't think being modest is the worst thing to call somebody, especially in today's life. he's an extremely good teammate, he's very modest and humble and that makes it even better."

from Ryan Lewis' article on ohio.com, Clevinger commented, "i don't want to jinx anything. i want him on the field and i want him in the lineup and i'm sure every single person feels the same way and i don't think there was ever a doubt with him being on the DL that we didn't need him or want him here. we knew this is exactly the player you're gonna get, and he's only exceeding expectations."

lastly, someone from the media asked Michael in the locker room something about if he saw how a lot of people wrote that the Indians shouldn't have exercised his option during the offseason. he really surprised me with his response. from a twitter video posted by clevelanddotcom, Michael remarked, "i think the negative posts should be writing thank you cards to the upper, uh, front office, that's what i think. uh, i, you know, i listened to it for the first time in my career. um, i remember 'em. i'm not gonna lie to you, usually i'm not a big reader but, at the same time, it just gave me extra motivation, extra fuel. and uh, you know, like i said before, the support of my family, that's all i need."

this makes me sad. i hope he read the positive posts, too. well, i hope he read(s) my blog. he still has supporters and fans who love him and will be devastated when he leaves at the end of this season. yeah, based on his brazen statement, he's definitely leaving, even if the Indians were to offer him a qualifying offer. why would he want to stay somewhere if fans don't want him here?😭 i do love that he called out the haters and pretty much said, yeah you better thank the Indians for bringing me back because i'm kicking ass and am still one of the best players on this team. he's not one to be like that, but i think it was warranted and appropriate. i also hope he saw, knows, and remembers which media members wanted him gone. i hope they were standing at his locker and recording these quotes as he looked them all straight in the eyes and basically said fuck you to them.

the next day, on May 30, Joe Noga's cleveland.com article contained some other quotes from Michael, including how he's always appreciative of the support that his teammates and fans show him. "i worked very hard to get back in this situation. i have a lot of good doctors, trainers, and staff that helped me. the front office encouraged me and always picked me up on rough days."

as for his nine homers, he's just looking to put quality swings on quality pitches. "i never consider myself a home run hitter. that's not my goal. i just try and get the barrel on the ball consistently."

during the afternoon game versus the White Sox, Michael had his third straight first at bat hit to extend all his streaks. in the bottom of the 1st inning with Allen at 1st base, no outs, and no score, Michael faced right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, a pitcher he'd never faced before in his career. on the 5th pitch of a 1-2 count, Michael hit a ground ball single into center field. that gave him a 19-game hitting streak--the longest in the majors this season, 20-game on-base streak, and 14-game hitting streak at home. it's also the longest hitting streak by an Indian since Kip's 20-game hit streak in 2015 and it tied Michael's second-longest hitting streak of his career, when he hit in 19 straight in 2010. the pitch sequence went: called strike, foul left side, pickoff attempt, pickoff attempt, ball, foul back behind home plate into the suites, single.

photo courtesy of @SportsTimeOhio on twitter

he later scored on Miguel Cabrera's sac fly to center field.

photo courtesy of Chuck Crow via cleveland.com

this was the ninth consecutive game Michael played, his longest stretch of the year, so Tito subbed him out after his final AB in the bottom of the 5th inning to give him some rest since the Indians held a 9-0 lead.

sadly, Michael's hitting streak finally came to an end during the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 31, as he went 0-for-3 with two walks and a run. (although, he probably should have had another run in the top of the 8th inning because, despite the ruling of this replay review, it appears that the Twins catcher was totally blocking the plate.πŸ˜•) oddly enough, Michael saw his 14-game hitting streak come to an end on May 31 of last year as well. it's like it was destined lol on the bright side, however, he still has an active 21-game on-base streak and 11-game on-base streak on the road that he'll take into June.πŸ˜‰


In Indians History

when Michael hit his first ever grand slam on May 1 versus the Texas Rangers, and then hit his second grand slam on May 11 versus the Kansas City Royals, he became the first Indian to hit two consecutive home runs in the form of grand slams since Ben Broussard did it in 2004, according to Joe Noga's article on cleveland.com. prior to Michael, Travis Hafner was the last Tribesmen with two grannies in one month in not only May, but also July of 2006. additionally, both Hafner and Shin-Soo Choo were the most recent Indians to have at least two slams in one season (2006) before Michael just did.πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ


In The Field

as the left fielder in May, Michael recorded 34 putouts and 1 assist in 35 total chances, giving him a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage for the second month in a row. he turned 1 double play as well.

before i describe his first outfield assist of the season, let me note how Michael got robbed of what would have been his first assist of 2018 when Terry Francona opted not to challenge a safe call in the game against the New York Yankees on May 5. it happened with 1 out in the bottom of the 5th inning and the Indians behind, 3-1. the Yankees had Ronald Torreyes at 2nd base and Austin Romine at 3rd when Brett Gardner came to bat against Trevor Bauer. after a 2-2 count, Gardner hit a sac fly to left field that Michael easily caught for the 2nd out of the inning. Romine tagged and ran home. but Torreyes tried to advance to 3rd base, so Michael threw the ball in to 3rd baseman Jose Ramirez, who applied to tag on what looked to be Torreyes' butt. the 3rd base ump called Torreyes safe, but a slow-motion replay showed that not only did Ramirez get the tag down in time, but it was before Romine touched home plate. Tito decided not to challenge the play, however. so instead of Michael getting credited with an inning-ending double play/outfield assist, he merely recorded a putout. besides that, the Indians' deficit increased to three runs as opposed to remaining at just two.

after the Indians lost the game, 5-2, Francona explained his decision not to challenge in Jordan Bastian's article on mlb.com/indians. "you know what? we were dying to [challenge]. we talked to the league already. we're having a tough time getting the slow-motion [replay in time]. so, what happens is it's blurry, so there's nothing that we can [see] definitive. and then later, the slo-mo comes in, and that would be the view [the umpires in the replay review center] get. we're having a tough time with the technology. it's been kind of ongoing. we're trying to work through it, because we feel handcuffed a little bit." of course that would happen at Michael's expense. all i'm gonna say is they didn't seem to have problems challenging other close plays... sigh. poor Brant.

at long last, Michael got rewarded for a strong throw in the game on May 23 against the Chicago Cubs. in the bottom of the 1st inning, Kyle Schwarber came to bat with Ian Happ at 1st base, no outs, and no score. Indians starter Adam Plutko was behind in the count, 1-0, when Schwarber hit a fly ball to left, which Michael caught in foul territory for out #1. Happ, for some reason, was on his way to 2nd, but once he saw Michael make the catch, he turned, fell, and ran back to 1st base. but he didn't make it in time because Michael threw the ball in to Tribe 1st baseman, Edwin Encarnacion, who had his foot on the bag before Happ dove back. that not only gave Michael his first outfield assist of the season, but also a double play!

following the Indians' 1-0 win, Paul Hoynes brought up the good throw during the manager's presser. "yeah. he always does. he's as accurate as anybody," Terry Francona proclaimed in the video on mlb.com/indians.



now let's break down the numbers. i am going to document his May #s, the 4th spot #s, the 2nd spot #s, and the DH #s, as well as the left field #s, BOP + left field #s, and overall outfield #s.

May batting average: .333

OBP: .398

SLG: .579

OPS: .977


Michael played in 27 (of 28) games, 21 complete, in May.

he started and played left field in 24 games, completing 18 of those games, appearing in 24 total.

he was subbed out defensively in 4 games after playing a total of 29 innings; 3 games after playing a total of 21 innings (8 innings/8 innings/5 innings per game) because the Indians were winning and he had done more than enough in the game, and 1 game after 8 innings because the Indians were losing.

he was lifted for a PR in 2 games after playing a total of 15 innings; 1 game in the bottom of the 7th inning because the Indians were winning a blowout, and 1 game in the top of the 9th inning because the Indians were winning.

he was the DH in 3 games.

he got 1 scheduled game off.


Michael bat 4th in 8 games.

Michael bat 2nd in 19 games.



Michael played left field in 24 games. (18 complete, 4 subbed out: 29 innings, 2 lifted for PR: 15 innings)

Michael was the DH in 3 games.

Michael played in 21 complete games.




in May, Michael had a total of 128 plate appearances and 114 at bats in 27 games. here is how he fared:

38 hits

14 extra base hits

24 singles

7 doubles

7 home runs

26 RBI

1 sac fly

26 runs

12 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base (2nd)

1 caught stealing (2nd)

1 reached on fielder's choice

1 reached on forceout

4 GIDP

13 strikeouts (10 swinging, 3 looking)

10 first at bat hits

66 total bases

48 left on base


34 putouts

1 assist

1 double play

208.1 innings, 27 games

(21 complete games)

May batting average: .333 (38-114) (27 games)


now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.


when Michael bat 4th in May, he had a total of 38 plate appearances and 32 at bats in 8 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

9 hits

5 extra base hits

4 singles

4 doubles

1 home run

8 RBI

1 sac fly

5 runs

5 walks

4 strikeouts (3 swinging, 1 looking)

2 first at bat hits

16 total bases

12 left on base


9 putouts

60.1 innings, 8 games

(6 complete games)

May batting average in the 4th spot: .281 (9-32) (8 games)


when Michael bat 4th and played left in May, he had a total of 32 plate appearances and 27 at bats in 7 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

5 hits

2 extra base hits

3 singles

1 double

1 home run

7 RBI

1 sac fly

3 runs

4 walks

4 strikeouts (3 swinging, 1 looking)

2 first at bat hits

9 total bases

12 left on base


9 putouts

60.1 innings, 7 games

(5 complete games)

May batting average in the 4th spot while playing left: .185 (5-27) (7 games)


when Michael bat 4th and was the DH in May, he had a total of 6 plate appearances and 5 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

4 hits

3 extra base hits

1 single

3 doubles

1 RBI

2 runs

1 walk

7 total bases


(1 complete game)

May batting average in the 4th spot as the DH: .800 (4-5) (1 game)


when Michael bat 2nd in May, he had a total of 90 plate appearances and 82 at bats in 19 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

29 hits

9 extra base hits

20 singles

3 doubles

6 home runs

18 RBI

21 runs

7 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base (2nd)

1 caught stealing (2nd)

1 reached on fielder's choice

1 reached on forceout

4 GIDP

9 strikeouts (7 swinging, 2 looking)

8 first at bat hits

50 total bases

36 left on base


25 putouts

1 assist

1 double play

148.0 innings, 19 games

(15 complete games)

May batting average in the 2nd spot: .354 (29-82) (19 games)


when Michael bat 2nd and played left in May, he had a total of 79 plate appearances and 73 at bats in 17 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

27 hits

8 extra base hits

19 singles

3 doubles

5 home runs

15 RBI

18 runs

5 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base (2nd)

1 caught stealing (2nd)

1 reached on forceout

4 GIDP

9 strikeouts (7 swinging, 2 looking)

8 first at bat hits

45 total bases

27 left on base


25 putouts

1 assist

1 double play

148.0 innings, 17 games

(13 complete games)

May batting average in the 2nd spot while playing left: .370 (27-73) (17 games)


when Michael bat 2nd and was the DH in May, he had a total of 11 plate appearances and 9 at bats in 2 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

1 extra base hit

1 single

1 home run

3 RBI

3 runs

2 walks

1 reached on fielder's choice

5 total bases

9 left on base


(2 complete games)

May batting average in the 2nd spot as the DH: .222 (2-9) (2 games)


when Michael was the DH in May, he had a total of 17 plate appearances and 14 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

6 hits

4 extra base hits

2 singles

3 doubles

1 home run

4 RBI

5 runs

3 walks

1 reached on fielder's choice

12 total bases

9 left on base


(3 complete games)

May batting average as the DH: .429 (6-14) (3 games)


when Michael played the outfield in May, he had a total of 111 plate appearances and 100 at bats in 24 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

32 hits

10 extra base hits

22 singles

4 doubles

6 home runs

22 RBI

1 sac fly

21 runs

9 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base (2nd)

1 caught stealing (2nd)

1 reached on forceout

4 GIDP

13 strikeouts (10 swinging, 3 looking)

10 first at bat hits

54 total bases

39 left on base


34 putouts

1 assist

1 double play

208.1 innings, 24 games

(18 complete games)

May batting average while playing the outfield: .320 (32-100) (24 games)


now let's break down his numbers specific to where he played in the outfield.


when Michael played left field in May, he had a total of 111 plate appearances and 100 at bats in 24 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

32 hits

10 extra base hits

22 singles

4 doubles

6 home runs

22 RBI

1 sac fly

21 runs

9 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base (2nd)

1 caught stealing (2nd)

1 reached on forceout

4 GIDP

13 strikeouts (10 swinging, 3 looking)

10 first at bat hits

54 total bases

39 left on base


34 putouts

1 assist

1 double play

208.1 innings, 24 games

(18 complete games)

May batting average while playing left field: .320 (32-100) (24 games)



May #s while playing left field: 34 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1 double play, 1.000 fielding percentage (208.1 innings, 24 games)

May #s while playing the outfield: 34 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1 double play, 1.000 fielding percentage (208.1 innings, 24 games)



now here are my game-by-game numbers and notes.

Game 1 of 1/Game 19 of 28, May 1: 1-6, grand slam, run. AVG: .329
[4th/LF/CG12]

Game 2 of 2/Game 20 of 29, May 2: 2-5, RBI single (first at bat), run, double. AVG: .333
[4th/LF/GS8]

Game 3 of 3/Game 21 of 30, May 3 (Game 1): 4-5, single, run, walk, double, reached 2nd base on fielding error RBI double, double, run. AVG: .360
[4th/DH/CG11]

Game 4 of 4/Game 22 of 31, May 3 (Game 2): 1-3, single (first at bat), RBI sac fly, walk. AVG: .360
[4th/LF/GS7] 

^^Michael was lifted for a pinch runner in the bottom of the 7th inning after drawing a walk.^^

Game /5 & /32, May 4: scheduled day off.

Game 5 of 6/Game 23 of 33, May 5: 0-3, walk. AVG: .348
[4th/LF/CG8]

Game 6 of 7/Game 24 of 34, May 6: 0-4. AVG: .333
[4th/LF/CG8.1]

Game 7 of 8/Game 25 of 35, May 8: 0-3, walk. AVG: .323
[4th/LF/CG8]

Game 8 of 9/Game 26 of 36, May 9: 1-3, walk (first plate appearance), RBI single, run. AVG: .324
[4th/LF/CG9]

Game 9 of 10/Game 27 of 37, May 11: 2-5, single (first at bat), run, grand slam, run. AVG: .327
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 10 of 11/Game 28 of 38, May 12: 3-4, RBI single (first at bat), RBI double, run, single, run. AVG: .342
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 11 of 12/Game 29 of 39, May 13: 1-5, RBI fielder's choice, run, 2-run home run, run. AVG: .336
[2nd/DH/CG]

Game 12 of 13/Game 30 of 40, May 14: 1-5, single. AVG: .331
[2nd/LF/CG8]

Game 13 of 14/Game 31 of 41, May 15: 1-4, walk (first plate appearance), run, single, walk. AVG: .328
[2nd/DH/CG]

Game 14 of 15/Game 32 of 42, May 16: 3-5, single (first at bat), run, home run, run, single. AVG: .338
[2nd/LF/GS8] 

^^Michael was lifted for a pinch runner in the top of the 9th inning after hitting a single.^^

Game 15 of 16/Game 33 of 43, May 18: 1-4, single. AVG: .336
[2nd/LF/CG8]

Game 16 of 17/Game 34 of 44, May 19: 1-4, home run (first at bat), run. AVG: .333
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 17 of 18/Game 35 of 45, May 20: 1-4, double, run. AVG: .331
[2nd/LF/CG8]

Game 18 of 19/Game 36 of 46, May 22: 2-6, single, run, single, run. AVG: .331
[2nd/LF/GS8]

Game 19 of 20/Game 37 of 47, May 23: 2-3, single (first at bat), caught stealing (2nd), RBI single, walk. AVG: .338
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 20 of 21/Game 38 of 48, May 24: 1-4, 2-run single. AVG: .335
[2nd/LF/GS8]

Game 21 of 22/Game 39 of 49, May 25: 2-5, double, run, single, stolen base (2nd), reached on forceout. AVG: .338
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 22 of 23/Game 40 of 50, May 26: 1-5, home run, run. AVG: .333
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 23 of 24/Game 41 of 51, May 27: 2-5, single, RBI single, walk. AVG: .335
[2nd/LF/CG14]

Game 24 of 25/Game 42 of 52, May 28: 1-4, single (first at bat), walk, run. AVG: .333
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 25 of 26/Game 43 of 53, May 29: 3-4, single (first at bat), run, home run, run, RBI single. AVG: .343
[2nd/LF/CG9]

Game 26 of 27/Game 44 of 54, May 30: 1-3, single (first at bat), run, hit by pitch, run. AVG: .343
[2nd/LF/GS5]

**Michael's 19-game hitting streak and 9-game hitting streak on the road end**

Game 27 of 28/Game 45 of 55, May 31: 0-3, walk (first plate appearance), run, walk. AVG: .337
[2nd/LF/CG9]

~~Michael ends the month with an active 21-game on-base streak, 11-game on-base streak on the road, 14-game hitting streak at home, and 14-game on-base streak at home~~



because i know how many people like to see Michael's cumulative season #s as well as monthlies, i will be including this 2018 stats summary at the end of all of my monthly posts:

so far in 2018, Michael has 201 plate appearances and 184 at bats in 45 games (362.1 innings). in total, he has 62 hits, 22 extra base hits, 40 singles, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 9 home runs (2 grand slams), 36 RBI, 2 sac flies, 31 runs, 13 walks, 2 hit by pitches, 2 stolen bases (2nd), 2 caught stealing (2nd), 2 reached on fielder's choice, 1 reached on forceout, 6 GIDP, 18 strikeouts (13 swinging, 5 looking), 16 first at bat hits, 103 total bases, 68 left on base, 58 putouts, 1 assist, and 1 double play.

2018 season batting average: .337 (62-184)

OBP: .383

SLG: .560

OPS: .943


for more details about Michael's 2018 #s so far, please refer to my Brantley's 2018 #s Through May blog.


do these look like All Star caliber numbers to you? well, i've got great news. finally, after a month delay from what we've been used to, the MLB All Star voting begins tomorrow, or more like later today [on June 1]!πŸ‘ i will be posting a blog with all the information on how to vote, where you vote, and tips and tricks to vote as much as possible!πŸ˜‰

keep (or start) following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 for the latest news on Michael and live tweets of his plate appearances. i'm also #CelebratingMichaelBrantley by highlighting some of his best moments from his career with the Indians. i do this every Monday; however, i also post certain things on other days of the week on occasion if a particular date represents an anniversary of a significant event. you can search the hashtag if you've missed anything in this series thus far, and don't be afraid to tweet me your favorite Michael memories and add to the thread, too!πŸŽ‰

are you on my subscription list yet? you can sign up to receive emails every time a new blog goes up by entering your email address in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar on the upper right side of this page.πŸ“§

now the sad news. i regret to inform you that there will not be anymore polls for you to vote in on my blog. due to lack of use all across the platform, blogger decided to remove that widget. i am sorry to see it go because i loved creating polls every month and seeing what everyone's predictions were. maybe something similar or better will return in the future, but i can't guarantee that. thank you for voting and i apologize for this unfortunate change.

you can still leave your predictions in a comment below if you like though! let me know what you think Michael's batting average will be for next month, how many HR and RBI he'll acquire, and how many games will the Indians win in June!πŸ’­

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