Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Brantley's 2018 ALDS #s

hi, Brantley fans. so it would appear as though we have watched Michael play in a Cleveland uniform for what most likely was the last time. that's because yesterday, on October 8, the Cleveland Indians were eliminated from postseason play when they lost the American League Division Series to the Houston Astros in a very quick three-game series. i wish i could say i didn't see this coming, but i think a lot of us did. the only thing that surprised me is that the Tribe got swept. i really thought they'd make it a close series and go the full five games. i was at Game 3, the first and only game in Cleveland, so my blog is going up a day late. my apologies.

the format of this is much like a monthly post, except i've added some pre-ALDS news to start with. also, because i only had three games to cover, i went ahead and listed out all of Michael's at bats in my redesigned Game Talk, At-Bat Details, Pictures, and Quotes section.

while many want to say that the top of the order didn't perform well, i'm about to prove that Michael was actually one of the top performers and did
better than the majority of Indians who played in the ALDS. so let's take a look back at everything that happened between October 1-8, no matter how painful it is to relive. btw, i can't ever recall writing a blog while in such a sad state of mind before.😞

Pre-American League Division Series News

October 1: the Indians held a "very optional" workout on Monday. no word if Michael was there.

the Indians' twitter posted a video highlighting some of the Tribe's offense, including a couple of stats from Michael.

October 2: the Indians played an intrasquad game at 2 pm at Progressive Field that was not open to the public, though Indians' employees watched and cheered. the game was originally scheduled for 3 pm, but was moved up an hour due to rain in the forecast. it was Tribe starters versus bench players, the Cleveland Fellers vs. the Cleveland Dobys. Michael bat 2nd and started in left field, playing for Team Feller. 

photo courtesy of @MLBastian on twitter

the lineup actually has one minor error, as Jason Kipnis batting was ahead of Roberto Perez.

Bob Tayek served as PA announcer and every player's normal walk up music played when they came to bat. scoreboard graphics were on display and crowd noise also filled Progressive Field sound system to make it seem as real game-like as possible.

Paul Hoynes posted a short twitter video prior to the start of the scrimmage, with the Fellers on the field. Andre Knott provided a twitter video of Michael on deck before his AB and you can see he's wearing the high socks, a rare site nowadays and maybe his last time ever doing so with the Tribe...

Michael came to bat in the bottom of the 1st inning with no score and 1 out. i'm not sure what the count was, but he hit a ground ball to 2nd for the 2nd out in the inning.

his second AB was in the bottom of the 3rd inning with Perez at 1st base, 1 out, and the Fellers behind, 2-1. after a 3-1 count from right-hander Adam Cimber, Michael popped up to 3rd.

after 3 innings, Terry Francona made a judgment call to "skip" right to the "bottom of the 4th inning" and let his Feller team batters continue to hit. rain began to fall and once Kipnis got his second at bat of the day, the game ended. so Michael's team lost, 2-1.

his game line read like this:

October 2: 0-2. AVG: .000

other stats include 1 groundout, 1 pop out, 1 left on base, and at least 1 putout (which can be heard but not seen at the end of this Facebook Live video via cleveland.com.)

he bat .000 (0-for-2) against right-handed pitchers, .000 (0-for-1) with runners on base, .000 (0-for-1) with bases empty and .000 (0-for-2) at "home".

the game was on broadcast live on cleveland.com's facebook page and is now archived if anyone wants to watch it back. Michael's ABs can be seen at the beginning of the video and around the 34:00 mark. a recap of the affair can be found in Joe Noga's cleveland.com article.

photo courtesy of @RyanMilowicki on twitter

October 3: after their workout at Progressive Field, the Tribe flew to Texas and landed in Houston. an Indians twitter video shows the guys getting off the plane.

also, Anthony Castrovince gave Michael the edge in left field over Astro Marwin Gonzalez in his position-by-position article for mlb.com, citing Michael's MLB-best contact rate (90.9%).

October 4: the Cleveland Baseball Talk Podcast came out on cleveland.com and a fan asked Hoynsie and Noga what the chances were that the Indians would sign one of their high profile free agents. in regards to Michael, Noga believed Michael was for sure gone, but that they would give him a qualifying offer (set at $17.9 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors) and it wouldn't be a bad thing if he takes it. Noga further noted how if they make him an offer and he turns it down, and then signs a 3-4 year deal for $20 million a year, which is possible, then the Indians will get a first round draft pick. Hoynsie agreed that the Indians would consider giving him a qualifying offer, he might be a guy they take a shot at.

Noga later gave Michael the advantage in the series over a platoon of Tony Kemp and Gonzalez in left for Houston in his cleveland.com article.

here are two pictures of Michael during batting practice at Minute Maid Park:

photos courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer

ALDS Overview

the Indians faced the reigning World Series Champion Houston Astros in their American League Division Series matchup this year, marking their third straight ALDS appearance. the series was a best of five with a 2-2-1 format and aired on TBS. the Tribe unfortunately did not have home field advantage this go-round because their 2018 regular season record (91-71) was not better than the Astros (103-59). the series was only three games long, as the Indians got swept. ouch.

this was the first time Michael was playing in the postseason healthy since the 2013 Wild Card Game and it was his first healthy ALDS. yet that didn't seem to make much difference at all because in the three contests, Michael had a .200 batting average with two singles, one RBI (sac fly), one walk, and one strikeout. well, that's one more hit than he had in his previous ALDS. sigh. you can give credit to great Houston pitching, or you can fairly question how Michael, who ended the regular season swinging a hot stick and who's been able to hit these three particular Astros starting pitchers in the past (at least somewhat), was rendered virtually ineffective against all of them.

the Indians opened up the series on the road with Games 1 and 2 being at Minute Maid Park on October 5 and 6. they lost both. hitting was at a minimum, even for Michael. he left Houston after putting together a paltry 1-for-7 showing with one single, one walk, and one strikeout. i can only imagine how that plane ride home was.🛫😟

after an off day on October 7, the ALDS continued with Game 3 in Cleveland at Progressive Field on October 8. for a while there, i thought we had it. until we didn't. the Indians lost and therefore got knocked out of the playoffs in a measly three games. at home, Michael went 1-for-3 with a single and RBI sac fly, giving him his very first postseason ribbie. and unfortunately, he won't get a chance to add to that total for another year (if even, depending on which team he signs his next contract with).

once again, the Indians had to sit and watch their opponents celebrate a series win on their home field. to have to see that three times in the last three years cannot be easy. if it's hard for me as a fan, i can only imagine how tough is it for a player.

photo courtesy of John Kuntz via cleveland.com

so that's it. now the Astros will be heading off to play the Boston Red Sox (who just defeated the New York Yankees) in the American League Championship Series, which is a best of seven, starting Saturday, October 13. the Astros won't have home field advantage this time because the Red Sox won 108 regular season games, so it will be interesting to see what happens now that they have to play more games not just on the road, but in brutal Fenway Park. they did have a ridiculously good road record this season so it might not be a big deal. but whatever, i'm not gonna be watching.😞

looking back for a minute, in 2016, it was easy to assume that had the Indians had Michael for the playoffs, they might have won the World Series. and in 2017, the argument was if Michael hadn't been out for most of August and September, the Indians might have advanced to the ALCS. well, this year, they did have a healthy Michael Brantley and it didn't make much of a difference because he was almost completely shut down at the plate. but at least he managed to get an RBI in the win-or-go-home Game 3 and helped his team somewhat. most of the guys couldn't even do that much.

i know Tribe fans have a lot of opinions and i want to hear yours. tell me, how you do think Terry Francona did managing this series? did you like the lineups he put out there and his defensive alignments? were you a fan of the pitching changes he made and/or what would you have done differently? should someone else have been on the 25-man postseason roster who wasn't? do you think this team needs a coaching staff shakeup in the offseason? what is it going to take for the Indians to actually win a World Series some day? sound off in the comments!💬

ALDS Team Batting Winner

batting average-wise, only one guy truly excelled in the ALDS. the player who had the highest ALDS batting average out of all the qualifying players on the team was Francisco Lindor with his .364 BA. wow. the next closest average was .250, owned by Yan Gomes.

for the record, the other four qualifying players were Michael, batting .200; Jason Kipnis, batting .111; Edwin Encarnacion, batting .100; Josh Donaldson, batting .091; and Jose Ramirez, batting .000. i mean... that's pretty ugly. i know that anybody can have a bad three-game series during a year and it's not necessarily a reflection of a player's true abilities, but this was the worst time for that to happen, especially to practically every guy in the lineup and in every game.


no monkeying around with the lineup in this series. Michael always bat 2nd behind Francisco Lindor and in front of Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson.

Michael reached base a total of 3 times via hits and walks. he scored 0 runs in the ALDS. he was driven in 0 times versus left stranded 3 times by his teammates behind him. yep. not good.

Team Leads & Career Highs

in the American League Division Series, Michael led the team with 1 sac fly. he was tied for the team lead with 2 singles, 12 plate appearances, and 3 games played. he also had the least amount of strikeouts among qualifying players with 1.

he was tied for 2nd on the team with 2 hits, 1 RBI, 1 walk, and 2 total bases.

in addition, he was 3rd with his .200 batting average, .200 SLG, and .450 OPS, and tied for 3rd with a .250 OBP.

he led the outfielders with 7 putouts and 1 assist. he was tied for 1st with 25 innings and 3 games played.

after checking my notes from Brantley's previous ALDS, i found that Michael set career highs in the ALDS with: 2 hits, 2 singles, 1 RBI, 1 sac fly, 2 total bases, 7 putouts, 1 assist, 25 innings, 1.000% fielding percentage, .200 batting average, .250 OBP, .200 SLG, and .450 OPS. he also set a career low with 1 strikeout.

and as for setting new personal records in the postseason as a whole, Michael set career highs this postseason with: 2 hits, 2 singles, 1 RBI, 1 sac fly, 2 total bases, 7 putouts, 1 assist, and 25 innings.

HR, RBI, LOB, K Rate, and Outs

in the short three-game ALDS, Michael did not hit any home runs. the team leader and only player to hit any home runs in the ALDS was Francisco Lindor with two.

Michael did, however, acquire 1 RBI vs. 0 men left on base. wahoo! lol Lindor led the Tribe with 2 RBI from his solo homers. Michael was tied for 2nd with Jose Ramirez with 1 RBI. no one else on the team got any ribbies and that's a big part of the reason why we lost the series.

Michael's K rate in the ALDS was 8.3% (1 K/12 PA). he struck out once every 12 plate appearances. honestly, i was even surprised by the one strikeout he had, but at least it was only one because that Houston pitching was striking some of his teammates out left and right. i'm glad Michael was able to maintain his contact hitting.

Michael had a total of 5 groundouts, 2 flyouts, no lineouts, and no pop outs versus 1 strikeout in the ALDS. true to form, even in with just a handful of at bats, Michael continued to put more balls on the ground than he got up in the air lol 

(reminder: the sortable player stats section on indians.com denotes outs differently from me in four 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 & fourth, likewise with the GIDPs, i do not count sac flies as flyouts or sac bunts as groundouts here. even though they are outs in a game [a sac fly is even counted in a slump!], they don't count against Michael in his game line because sac flies and sac bunts are considered plate appearances and not at bats.)

Situational Statistics

Michael had a hit in 2 of the 3 games he played in the ALDS and reached base safely in 2 games. he had 1 hitless game and did not reach base in it. Michael had no multi-hit games, no three+ hit games, no multi-RBI games. he had at least 1 RBI in 1 game. he also had no go-ahead hits, but 1 go-ahead RBI this series. the Indians were 0-3 in games that Michael played in.

in the ALDS, Michael bat .250 (2-for-8) against right-handed pitchers and .000 (0-for-2) against left-handed pitchers. very small sample size here, but it's obvious that Michael did not perform at his best. then again, he did face very tough pitching in this series, though i hoped some of the other balls he made contact with would have fallen in for a hit. for the record, his one RBI came off a lefty via a sac fly, so there's that.

Michael bat .333 (1-for-3) in 1 game at home. overall, he had 1 single, 1 RBI, 1 sac fly, and 1 total base while playing 1 home game. he hit safely in the 1 home game he played in and safely reached base in it. he had at least 1 RBI in this 1 home game.

Michael bat .143 (1-for-7) in both of the games away from Progressive Field (at Minute Maid Park). after closing out the regular season playing so well on the road, he really fell flat in this series. overall, he had 1 single, 1 walk, 1 strikeout swinging, and 1 total base while playing 2 of the 2 total road games. he hit safely in 1 of the 2 road games he played in and safely reached base in 1 of them. he was hitless in 1 road game and did not reach base in it.

Michael hit N/A (0-for-0) with runners in scoring position, producing 1 RBI in the ALDS. to be more specific, he hit N/A (0-for-0) with RISP and 1 out. he came to the plate twice with runners in scoring position and he drew one walk and hit one sacrifice fly, so he technically did not register a batting average for that category. he did not come to bat at all with RISP and 0 outs or RISP and 2 outs.

with 2 outs in an inning in the ALDS, Michael bat .000 (0-for-2).

additionally, he hit 1.000 (1-for-1) with runners on base. he came to the plate three times with runners on, totaling 1 hit, 1 RBI sac fly, and 1 walk. he did not come to bat at all with the bases loaded during the ALDS.

Michael also bat .111 (1-for-9) with the bases empty. he had 1 single and 1 strikeout swinging in the ALDS.

League Rankings

Michael didn't have many stats after playing in three American League Division Series games. but let's see what ranked in the Top 10 among other AL and MLB qualifiers anyway (per mlb.mlb.com/stats):

among qualifying left fielders in the American League, Michael ranked tied for 2nd in sac flies (1); 4th in OPS (.450); tied for 4th in RBI (1) and OBP (.250); 5th in hits (2), singles (2), walks (1), total bases (2), at bats (10), batting average (.250), and SLG (.200); and tied for 5th in plate appearances (12) and games played (3). Michael also ranked tied for 5th out of 6 players in strikeouts (1), making him tied for the 2nd hardest left fielder in the AL to strike out in the ALDS.

among qualifying outfielders in the American League, Michael was tied for 2nd in sac flies; 8th in batting average; tied for 8th in singles, RBI, and walks; 9th in OPS; tied for 9th in hits, OBP, and games played; 10th in SLG; and tied for 10th in total bases, plate appearances, and at bats. plus, he was tied for 11th out of 12 players in Ks, or tied for the 2nd hardest to K.

among qualifying players in the American League, Michael ranked tied for 2nd in sac flies. he also ranked tied for 31st out of 32 players in strikeouts, or tied for the 2nd toughest player to strike out in the AL.

among all qualifying left fielders in the Major Leagues, Michael was tied for 2nd in sac flies, tied for 6th in RBI and walks, tied for 7th in singles and OBP, 8th in batting average and OPS, tied for 8th in games played, 9th in at bats and SLG, tied for 9th in hits, and tied for 10th in total bases and plate appearances. he was also tied for 9th out of 11 players in strikeouts, aka tied for the 3rd hardest to K among MLB left fielders in the division series. 

among all qualifying outfielders in the Major Leagues, Michael ranked tied for 2nd in sac flies and tied for 10th in RBI. Michael was also tied for the 3rd toughest MLB outfielder to strike out in the ALDS, as he ranked tied for 22nd out of 24 players in strikeouts.

among all qualifying players in the Major Leagues, Michael was tied for 2nd in sac flies. also, his strikeouts were tied for 56th out of 59, making him tied for the 4th toughest MLB player to K in the ALDS.

ALDS Game Talk, At-Bat Details, Pictures, and Quotes

October 5: prior to Game 1 of the ALDS, Terry Francona spoke about Michael being able to participate in this year's playoffs with a full bill of health. "i'm always proud of him, because of the way he carries himself," Tito stated in Jordan Bastian's Pregame Minutiae blog on bastian.mlblogs.com. "but on a personal level, i'm just so happy for him that he can be a part of this. because, again, i saw what he went through. when everybody's getting announced during the World Series and all the excitement, he was back there [in the training room]. he never missed a day. and to see it pay off, i mean, i would bet, if you ask him, he probably enjoyed playing more this year than maybe he has in a while, just because, when it gets taken away... yeah, we're all happy for him."

when asked about Michael batting 2nd in between Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, Francona replied, "he could hit anywhere. he really could, but kind of like we've talked about with Kip when he was there for a while, the game doesn't speed up. it's nice to have somebody sitting there where, when the game needs to be played--you know what i mean--when there's things that need to be done in that at-bat, it's not going to go too fast for him. he can hit the hole. he can do things where you don't mind multiple things going on."

also before the game, Michael did a quick interview, a snippet of which was posted in a video on FOX Sports Ohio's youtube channel. "very excited. um, i'm excited to go out there with these, this great group of guys that worked hard, you know, this whole season to get to this point and uh, go out there and, you know, see what we can do. uh, this is what you work so hard for in spring and throughout the year to, for this postseason and we're all looking forward to it."

the first ALDS game featured two right-handed aces on the mound: Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander. Michael was a career .289 hitter (22-for-76) against Verlander with two doubles, one triple, 10 RBI, five walks, one intentional walk, and eight strikeouts.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

here's a video on mlb.com of some Indians taking batting practice. Michael's in the cage at the 0:25 and 3:58 marks. and here's a video from mlb.com of the Indians starting lineup being introduced just ahead of the game.

in the game, Michael went 1-for-3 with a single and a critical walk. the walk occurred in the top of the 6th inning with Yan Gomes at 2nd base, Lindor at 1st, and 1 out with the Indians trailing, 4-0. (it really should have been bases loaded because Kipnis was called out on strikes when the pitch was actually ball 4, but...) facing Verlander, Michael fouled the first pitch 1st base side and then took a ball. he foul tipped the 3rd pitch and then took another ball. he fouled the 5th pitch to the right and then took ball 3. he fouled the 7th pitch at the plate before taking ball 4, but apparently the count on the scoreboard wasn't right because Michael needed to be told by the home plate umpire that that was ball 4 lol but it chased Verlander out of the game. (Kip being wrongly called out cost Michael an RBI.) Michael advanced to 2nd base on a wild pitch to Ramirez from righty Ryan Pressly, and then moved up to 3rd on Ramirez's RBI groundout, but was ultimately left stranded.

when the inning ended, the Tribe cut the Astros' lead to 4-2 and, according to Andre Knott, Michael was "pumping his guys up."

his single came when he led off the top of the 9th inning with the Indians losing, 7-2. on a 1-1 count from righty Roberto Osuna, Michael hit a line drive single to right field. the pitch sequence went: foul, ball, single.

his two outs in the game were a flyout and a groundout. Michael's first AB resulted in a flyout to center field after a 3-1 count from Verlander with 1 out and no score in the top of the 1st inning. the pitch sequence went: ball, foul to the left side, ball, ball, flyout.

Michael led off the top of the 4th in his second at bat with no score and hit a groundout to 1st off Verlander on the 5th pitch of a 1-2 count. that pitch sequence was: ball, foul back into the net, called strike, foul 1st base side, groundout.

he also acquired an outfield assist in the 7th inning, his first ever in a playoff setting. scroll down to my In The Field section for those details!

following the Indians' 7-2 loss, Astros' manager AJ Hinch declared that Verlander "ran out of gas a little bit against Brantley," per Bastian's postgame article on mlb.com/indians.

October 6: for Game 2's pitching matchup of right-hander Carlos Carrasco vs. right-hander Gerrit Cole, Francona went with the same lineup:

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter
Michael was 2-for-6 lifetime against Cole with one RBI and two strikeouts.

here's a photo of Michael during BP, mid-spit lol ew🤐

photo courtesy of @DreKnott on twitter

it was a tough game for Michael, who was held hitless in four at bats. in his first AB in the top of the 1st with 1 out and no score, Michael hit a ground ball to 1st that actually hit off the bag after a 1-1 count from Cole. the pitch sequence went: called strike, ball, groundout.

after Lindor hit a home run in the top of the 3rd inning to put the Tribe up, 1-0, Michael came to bat with 2 outs. he swung at Cole's first offering and sent a fly ball to left field to end the inning.

Michael's next shot at Cole took place in the top of the 6th inning with 1 out and the Indians still on top, 1-0. he struck out swinging on the 5th pitch of a 1-2 count. the pitch sequence went: ball, foul back, called strike (that was low and not really a strike), foul, swing and miss.

Michael led off the top of the 9th inning against righty Osuna, just like in the previous game. the Indians were down, 3-1, and after a 2-1 count, Michael grounded out to short. the sequence went: ball, ball, called strike, groundout.

photo courtesy of David J. Phillip via Associated Press

the Tribe were losers of this contest by a score of 3-1.

October 7: the Indians had an optional workout on their off day in Cleveland. here are some pictures of Michael during practice:

photos courtesy of Phil Long via Associated Press

in the evening, Bastian posted an article about Michael's past, present, and future on mlb.com/indians. it stated how the left fielder was savoring every day this year given how he was unable to impact the Indians' past two postseasons due to injuries and given the uncertainty surrounding where he will play in 2019. "every day. when you go through basically almost a two-year rehab, you don't always know that you're going to come back. every day that i'm there to be with my teammates, that i'm healthy enough to be in that lineup, where i can joke around and know that i'm going out to left field to play with these guys, i'm very appreciative. i don't take it for granted."

when Michael could not play in the postseason with the Indians in 2016, he stayed with the team and offered advice to his teammates. "i really looked at myself as a coach. i was talking to guys about at-bats. i was talking to them about their approach with certain pitchers. if anyone had a question of me, i made sure i was in the dugout cheering them on and made sure they knew i was there. i accepted the role, even though i didn't want to."

after Michael's biceps tenodesis procedure in August 2016, he talked about spending his post-playing days at home in Port St. Lucie fishing and playing with his kids. Indians pitcher and close friend Josh Tomlin stayed in Cleveland with his family for most of the offseason instead of going home to Texas so he could be near Michael as he was rehabbing. "you need someone there pushing you. you need someone there telling you, 'hey, you're full of crap. you're going to play. you're going to play again. you're one of the best players in the league. keep fighting. keep going forward."

through a lot of hard work and dedication to the rehab process, Michael was able to come back and has maintained his contact-oriented hitter status. Bastian noted that Michael led MLB qualifiers in contact rate (90.9%) and swinging-strike rate (4.0%) this year, and he finished second with a 9.5% strikeout rate.

now healthy, Michael can put his contact skills to use and enjoy actually playing on the field with his teammates, too. "he's a dying breed," Tomlin said.

"you never know when it's going to be your last game or what could happen. every day that i came in this season, to be with that group that worked so hard day in and day out by my side, it's an honor."

October 8: the Indians' first (last, and only) home game of the postseason had a matchup of righty Mike Clevinger vs. lefty Dallas Keuchel, whom Michael was 6-for-24 lifetime against with one double, two home runs, three RBI, one walk, two GIDP, and three strikeouts.

photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

the Indians' starting lineup was announced before the game and here's the video from mlb.com/indians.

photos courtesy of Chuck Crow via The Plain Dealer

in Michael's first at bat in the bottom of the 1st with 1 out and no score, Michael hit a groundout to 1st after taking a called strike from Keuchel.

Michael next came to bat with Yan Gomes at 3rd base, Kipnis at 2nd, and 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd inning. with the game still scoreless, Michael hit an RBI sac fly to center field on an 0-1 count (called strike) off Keuchel. that marked not only Michael's first postseason RBI ever, but also his first go-ahead RBI in a postseason series!

photo courtesy of David Dermer via Associated Press
photo courtesy of Gregory Shamus via Getty Images

Michael's third plate appearance came with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th inning and the Tribe on top, 2-1. he swung at Keuchel's first offering and grounded out to 1st again to end the inning.

Michael got what was probably his last ever at bat as an Indian in the bottom of the 8th inning. he faced right-hander Lance McCullers, Jr. with Lindor at 1st base, 1 out, and the Tribe trailing, 10-2. after a 1-0 count, Michael hit a line drive single into left field, moving Lindor up to 2nd. if that was his final AB as a member of the team, i was glad to see him end it with a base hit.

the Indians lost, 11-3, and were swept out of the ALDS.😔

Uncertain Future

Michael spoke with the media after the game, first about the loss and then about his future, in these two videos on mlb.com/indians. "that's baseball, it happens. uh, happened at a bad time for us. uh, we're not proud of it in this locker room, but at the same time, we accomplished a lot this year. we fell short of our goal but, uh, i know these guys are gonna keep fighting, as well as i am and we'll see what happens from there.

"i'm very thankful for putting on a Cleveland Indian uniform, one. i'm very thankful for every player that i played in, played with in this organization that helped me get to where i'm at in this point. uh, it'll never be forgotten and i'll always be very appreciative for what everybody has ever done for me, including the fans. thank you, guys. i have to thank everybody."

when asked if he thought he would be back, Michael replied, "uh, we'll find out together. uh, i'm not sure, i mean, the game just ended. i got, i gotta sit down with my family and we'll make a decision and then we'll see what happens. i don't know."

then i think this SportsTime Ohio twitter video snippet is a continuation of him answering that question. "i've thought about it. but at the same time, you know, i've got a lot of thinking to do. i've got my family to talk to. i've got these guys in this room to still talk to. and uh, then we'll make, we'll go from there. you never know what's going to happen in the offseason."

this FOX Sports Ohio video via youtube had more from Michael. "this organization's in great hands. uh, you know, you look around this room, uh, they've got phenomenal leaders still, great players. uh, they're going to be good for a long time. uh, i hope to be a part of it."

what does he think happened? "well, we didn't get a lot of hits, plain and simple. uh, Houston came out and threw the ball really well and uh, we didn't get, we didn't string enough hits together and they beat us fair and square."

"this is a veteran team. uh, we knew what we had to do going into this series and we knew how, you know, we're facing a good team, this is the postseason. uh, you give credit where credit's due. they came out there and pitched the ball well and hit well and, you know, tip your hat. they beat us."

Paul Hoynes then inquired, if this was Michael's last game with the Indians, what does he take away from it? "what do i take away from it? just that it's been an honor. it's been an honor to wear that uniform. it's an honor to, you know, every player that i played with in this organization, for all the help everybody gave me. it was always appreciated and it'll never be forgotten."

per Ryan Lewis, after Michael, Yonder Alonso, Josh Tomlin, and Yan Gomes met with reporters, they either rolled over some chairs or sat on the ground in the corner of the clubhouse taking their time and chatting amongst themselves free of the media rush and the clubbies hustling around. Hoynsie's article on cleveland.com had the trio of Michael, Tomlin, and Jason Kipnis, while Bastian's article on mlb.com/indians omitted Alonso and Kipnis from the group. JB also noted that they had somber expressions. the locker cleanout takes place in a couple of days and then they will all go their separate ways for the offseason, and Michael and Tomlin aren't likely to return to Cleveland for 2019.

Terry Francona also acknowledged that roster changes were coming during his postgame presser. "we've got a number of guys that are free agents," he stated in Jordan Bastian's article on mlb.com/indians. "you know there's going to be some turnover, and it's a real special group to all of us. so that's a hard one, when you're saying goodbye before you're ready."

if the Michael Brantley Era in Cleveland has really come to an end, and he has played his final game in an Indians uniform, i am so grateful it just so happened that i was there and i got to watch him. it will be something that i remember for the rest of my life. and i will hold all the pictures and videos i took very near to my heart. a lot has gone on over the course of his 10 years with the Tribe, but right now, somehow, it seems like it was such a short amount of time and it ended too soon.💔😭

In The Field

when Michael played left field in the ALDS, he acquired 7 putouts and 1 assist in 8 total chances, giving him a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Michael got his first career assist in an ALDS on October 5 in Game 1 against the Houston Astros. the Indians were down 5-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning when it transpired. the Astros had George Springer at 2nd base and 1 out when Alex Bregman faced Trevor Bauer, who was pitching out of the bullpen for the Tribe. after a 2-1 count, Bregman hit a line drive single to left field. Michael fielded the ball quickly and threw it in as Springer headed for home, but his throw to the plate was cut off by 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson, which surprised WTAM 1100 radio announcer Tom Hamilton as well as Dennis Eckersley and Don Orsillo, the guys on TBS. Donaldson then turned to see Bregman was halfway to 2nd base, so he ran across the diamond towards 1st base, then threw the ball to 2nd baseman Jose Ramirez, who tagged out Bregman as he was caught in a rundown between 1st and 2nd. the run scored for Houston, but Michael was awarded an assist. it didn't appear that Yan Gomes told Donaldson to cut that ball off, as he was ready to make the catch at the plate, so i don't know why Donaldson took it upon himself to do that.🤷

as for his putouts, Michael collected one in both Game 1 and 2. he made a catch in left field for the third out in the bottom of the 3rd inning on October 5, and he made another catch going back on the warning track for the first out in the bottom of the 6th inning on October 6.

in Game 3 at home on October 8, Michael totaled five putouts in left. he made a catch for the third out in the top of the 3rd, he caught a ball near the left field line for the first out in the top of the 4th, he made a catch for the first out in the top of the 5th, he made a catch for the second out in the top of the 7th, and he made a catch for the third out in the top of the 9th inning. the last one was probably his last appearance in left field as a Cleveland Indian as well...

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

2018 ALDS batting average: .200

OBP: .250

SLG: .200

OPS: .450

Michael played in 3 (of 3) games in the ALDS, all complete. 

he started and played left field in 3 games, completing all 3 of those games.

Michael bat 2nd in 3 games.

Michael played left field in 3 games. (all complete)

Michael played in 3 complete games.

in the 2018 ALDS, Michael had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. here is how he fared:

2 hits

2 singles


1 sac fly

1 walk

1 strikeout swinging

2 total bases

7 putouts

1 assist

25 innings, 3 games

(3 complete games)

2018 ALDS batting average: .200 (2-10) (3 games)

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

when Michael bat 2nd in the ALDS, he had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

2 singles


1 sac fly

1 walk

1 strikeout swinging

2 total bases

7 putouts

1 assist

25 innings, 3 games

(3 complete games)

2018 ALDS batting average in the 2nd spot: .200 (2-10) (3 games)

when Michael bat 2nd and played left in the ALDS, he had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

2 singles


1 sac fly

1 strikeout swinging

2 total bases

7 putouts

1 assist

25 innings, 3 games

2018 ALDS batting average in the 2nd spot while playing left: .200 (2-10) (3 games)

when Michael played the outfield in the ALDS, he had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

2 singles


1 sac fly

1 walk

1 strikeout swinging

2 total bases

7 putouts

1 assist

25 innings, 3 games

(3 complete games)

2018 ALDS batting average while playing the outfield: .200 (2-10) (3 games)

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

when Michael played left field in the ALDS, he had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

2 singles


1 sac fly

1 walk

1 strikeout swinging

2 total bases

7 putouts

1 assist

25 innings, 3 games

(3 complete games)

2018 ALDS batting average while playing left field: .200 (2-10) (3 games)

2018 ALDS #s while playing left field: 7 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 0 double plays, 1.000 fielding percentage (25 innings, 3 games)

2018 ALDS #s while playing the outfield: 7 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 0 double plays, 1.000 fielding percentage (25 innings, 3 games)

now here are my 2018 ALDS game-by-game numbers and notes.

ALDS Game 1/1, October 5: 1-3, walk, single. AVG: .333

ALDS Game 2/2, October 6: 0-4. AVG: .143

ALDS Game 3/3, October 8: 1-3, RBI sac fly, single. AVG: .200

in the 2018 Postseason, Michael had 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 3 games (25 innings). in total, he had 2 hits, 2 singles, 1 RBI, 1 sac fly, 1 walk, 1 strikeout swinging, 2 total bases, 7 putouts, and 1 assist.

2018 Postseason/ALDS batting average: .200 (2-10)

OBP: .250

SLG: .200

OPS: .450

what's coming up next:
Wrapping Up Brantley's 2018 Season + Postseason

ICYMI, here are the three previous wrap up blogs i posted:
Part 1: Brantley's 2018 Game-by-Game Numbers & Notes
Part 2: Brantley's 2018 Batting Order Position & LF/PH/DH #s
Part 3: Brantley's 2018 Situational #s & Statistics

now we play the waiting game. will Brantley receive a qualifying offer for 2019 from the Indians? they can offer him one five days after the World Series ends, and they do, he'll have 10 days to accept or decline. so be sure you're following me on twitter @clevelandgirl23 because i will have that info on my timeline as soon as i find out. i personally think they will extend the QO, worth $17.9 million, but i highly doubt Michael takes it. i'd love it if i was wrong though.

i want to thank everyone for checking out my #CelebratingMichaelBrantley series on twitter. i started this back on April 2 and kept it going every Monday throughout the regular season and the Indians' postseason. i shared his best moments from his career with the Tribe, reminisced about many of his accomplishments, and shined a light on things people may have forgotten all about. there was plenty for me to pick from because Michael is no ordinary ballplayer. no matter what happens now, i am so grateful that Michael was with us for 10 years and that we got to see him emerge as the star he currently is.💗

if you'd like to be part of my mailing list, to be notified when new blogs get published, it's very easy to sign up. just enter your email address in the box underneath the Blog Archive sidebar over on the upper right side of this page and you'll be good to go!📧

thanks again for reading and i'm so sorry about the outcome!😞

only 170 days until Indians' Opening Day on March 28, 2019!😮

if you want, leave a comment below with your ALCS and NLCS predictions. which two teams will be victorious (BOS-HOU & LAD-MIL) and meet in the World Series and who will win it all? are you going to watch or are you done with baseball until spring?💭

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