it came in the top of the 1st inning with no outs, no score, and Francisco Lindor at 2nd base. well, Frankie was actually at 1st base after drawing a walk when Michael's at bat began. right-handed pitcher Trevor Oaks threw Michael a called strike, which Lindor ran on to steal 2nd. Michael fouled the next pitch down the right field line in the front row of seats before taking a ball. Michael fouled Oaks' fourth offering off to the left side. then, on the 5th pitch of a 1-2 count, Michael hit a go-ahead, line drive double to right field that easily scored Lindor, giving him RBI #500 in his 982nd Major League game and the Indians a 1-0 lead. congratulations!👏👊🙌😀
throughout Michael's 10 years in the majors, he's spent time batting in every spot in the order. coming into this game, here are his stats in each BOP:
|screenshot cropped from sports.yahoo.com|
since May 3, 2014, when healthy, Michael had been the Tribe's regular 3-hole hitter, except for in his short-lived injury-riddled 2016 season. this year, Terry Francona started Michael out batting 4th and 5th, depending on whether the opposing pitcher was a righty or lefty. on May 11, Michael was moved up to the 2 spot, somewhere he hadn't bat since Game 2 of a doubleheader on May 13, 2013. it was the only time he'd bat 2nd while Tito was his manager. prior to that, he'd spent a grand total of 18 games in the 2 hole--five times in 2012, nine times in 2011, and three times in 2010. now, after 48 games there in 2018, he's got 30 RBI.
because Michael has the most at bats in the 3rd spot, that's where he boasts the most RBI. however, Michael can pretty much hit anywhere you put him in the lineup at this stage of his career, which might not have been the case in his early years.
now let's take a look at Michael's RBIs per season to this point in his career:
2009: 11 RBI in 28 games
2010: 22 RBI in 72 games
2011: 46 RBI in 114 games
2012: 60 RBI in 149 games
2013: 73 RBI in 151 games
2014: 97 RBI in 156 games (career high)
2015: 84 RBI in 137 games
2016: 7 RBI in 11 games (season shortened due to chronic right biceps tendinitis)
2017: 52 RBI in 90 games (season shortened due to right ankle synovitis/deltoid ligament sprain)
2018: 48 RBI in 74 games so far
truth be told, Michael should have hit this benchmark before 2018. he definitely would have achieved it in early 2017 had he not missed almost all of 2016. irregardless of that, the proof is right there in the numbers--when Michael is healthy, he swings a very productive bat. he's one of the most consistent hitters on the team and in the league.
in addition, according to Paul Hoynes' cleveland.com article, Michael is the first left-handed Indians hitter to reach 500 RBI since Travis Hafner. Pronk obtained his 500th career ribbie in 2008 during his 6th season with the Tribe and 7th season overall in the majors. congrats again, Brant! Happy 4th, indeed!😎
how many RBI do you think Michael will end up with when this year concludes? leave your guess in a comment below!
reminder: there are still TWO days left to vote for Michael to go to this year's All Star Game on July 17 in Washington, D.C. he's in 5th place among 15 OFs according to MLB Communications' latest updates (on July 2). if you haven't submitted your ballots yet, please do. click HERE for info. ahead of tonight's game, Michael was batting .305 (91-for-298) with 19 doubles, 1 triple, 11 home runs, 47 RBI, 44 runs, 21 walks, and 5 stolen bases in 73 games. voting closes on Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 pm ET. #VoteBrantley
for more news about Michael's season as it happens, be sure to follow me on twitter @clevelandgirl23. i'm live tweeting all of his plate appearances in his final campaign as an Indian. also in honor of that, i've been #CelebratingMichaelBrantley by tweeting some of his most memorable accomplishments over his 10-year career with the Tribe. every Monday, i post something new. if you haven't been keeping up with the series, just search the hashtag and it'll take you right to the thread. you can tweet comments and your own fond memories of Michael if you want, too!🎉
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