Jul 26, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Ryan Raburn (9) watches his game-winning three-run home run in the eleventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

This Week in The AL Central

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For the most recent week passed – Friday, July 26 – Thursday, August 1:

STANDINGS

  1. Detroit Tigers   61 – 45
  2. Cleveland Indians   60 – 48
  3. Kansas City Royals  54 – 51
  4. Minnesota Twins   45 – 60
  5. Chicago White Sox  40 – 66

 

POWER RANKING/LAST TEN GAMES

  1. Detroit Tigers   9 – 1
  2. Cleveland Indians   8 – 2
  3. Kansas City Royals   9 – 1
  4. Minnesota Twins   4 – 6
  5. Chicago White Sox  1 – 9

 

  • The TIGERS have averaged 6.7 runs per game over the last 10; meanwhile, they have allowed more than two runs just twice over the same span. Pretty simple formula for winning…Has Alex Avila turned the corner? Two home runs in two days, off All-Star pitchers, to different parts of the park. AA’s resurgence could offset the anticipated loss of pop from the absence of J-Honny…Maybe Gene Lamont wasn’t so bad after all?…Iglesias-to-Perez doesn’t roll off the tongue like Trammell and Whitaker, but I’d bet Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, among others, will acquiesce to the language barrier…Half-full or half-empty? One could say that the Tigers haven’t lengthened their lead since the All-Star break; however, in Cleveland and KC, they have played flawlessly for two weeks and gained no ground. Perspective, my friends…
  • The INDIANS won 8 straight, yet are a game closer to 3rd place than first than they were ten games ago…Our old pal Ryan Raburn was at it again, going 3-for-4 against Chris Sale and the White Sux with a pair of dingers and 4 RBI – out of the 3-hole, no less; this a few days after dispatching Texas with a three-run walkoff in the 11th. Raburn is hitting .283, with 13 HR’s and 101 total bases in 173 AB’s, with an OPS of .961…The Tribe’s lone deadline acquisition was Marc Rzepczynski, a journeyman LOOGY who should nonetheless improve the bullpen, whose combustible lefties have compiled a 6.47 ERA so far this season…If the season ended today, Cleveland would be in the playoffs – so much for that “weak AL Central” nonsense, eh?…
  • The ROYALS one-upped the Indians by stringing together 9 wins, and will go for #10 on Friday in New York vs. the Mets…the National League visit will relegate DH Billy Butler to pinch-hitting duties…KC got OF Justin Maxwell from Houston at the trade deadline, a move that provides a tepid upgrade from David Lough, but doesn’t move the needle much…
  • The TWINS Sam Deduno turned in another stalwart effort, shutting out the Mariners for 7 frames, while Mike Pelfrey lost a pair of games…Scott (Don’t call me Neil) Diamond and Aaron Hicks thumbed a ride back to Triple-A Rochestor…So far, Justin Morneau is still a Twin – it remains to be seen if he passes through waivers and is dealt yet in August…
  • The WHITE SOX , as predicted, red-washed Jake Peavy’s Sox, receiving Avisail Garcia in the swap. Garcia’s power should play in Chicago’s home bandbox – and he will have ample opportunity to haunt the Tigers, although he begins his Pale Hose career in Triple-A…

 

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK:

  • Miguel Cabrera is not 100% healthy – and might not be for the rest of the year…
  • Brian Wilson got at least a glance from Tigers brass, before taking his tired act to La-La land…
  • The Tribe enjoyed home cooking, sweeping the Rangers and Sox…
  • Chicago began the fire sale, while Minnesota discovered they don’t have anyone outside of Joe Mauer that is desirable in a trade…
  • Chances are good we have seen the last of Jhonny Peralta in Tigers threads…

 

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • The Tigers look ahead to their toughest stretch of the second half – at Cleveland and the Bronx…
  • Will the Tribe keep the momentum in Miami, before hosting the Tigers in a first-place showdown?
  • If the Royals stay hot, their cakewalk schedule could lead them into the middle of the pennant race…
  • Will either Minnesota or Chicago muster the fortitude to play spoiler in the division?
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