Seven final thoughts for the Indians' 9-4 win over the Twins that ended a positive seven-game home stand.
1. This team really doesn't have the talent to win 95 games—or 90, probably—but it can fight back from adversity. Dropping six in a row on the road isn't exactly encouraging but the Indians came home, won 5-of-7 and three straight for the first time this season.
2. If nothing, this team is quite scrappy. On paper the Tigers are twice as talented but the Indians might not ever be as low as they were only a week ago. The question is if they can reach new heights on win every day against great competition. The Twins aren't a bad team, but they're not Detroit, either.
3. Asdrubal Cabrera finally had a great day at the plate but waved off and refused to speak to reporters after the game. He went four-for-five and was a close scorer's ruling away from a cycle. It's really his first great game this season, so to shut down reporters now seemed odd.
4. Even on this terrific day, he was picked off at first base and struck out with the bases loaded. He still becomes a different hitter in big situations, but the talent is surely there. Cabrera is in a contract year, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise if his final numbers looked much, much better than where they are right now. But the Indians should be concerned with his situational hitting, which is still among the worst in baseball.
5. Michael Brantley might be the most underrated hitter in the American League. That's been said before and it will be said a lot more by more people. The guy is dependable to a fault and is showing an explosion of power (he now has six home runs to lead the team). He comes up in big situations and is now, as of this typing, third in the AL with 29 RBI. The guy is just really good.
6. Justin Masterson is solid but there still only been glimpses of the pitcher who will look for around $17 million this offseason. We saw it today in the first five innings—one hit, four strikeouts—but he was hit around in the sixth and seventh innings. And he only had two "earned" runs but those runs were unearned because he made an error, which is odd. Masterson is really good and he's terrific in the clubhouse, but whether he's worth that kind of money is still iffy.
7. Terry Francona, Masterson, Aviles, everybody talked about how important this home stand was following the 0-6 road trip that preceded it. That again speaks to the resolution of this team—talent wise, on paper, the Indians won't be projected to win the division or, probably, a wild card spot. But this doesn't feel like a team that will go away, either.