Who's Hot: Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir and Danny Salazar
For the longest time, it looked like the Indians were going to hang around .500 behind the arms of Justin Masterson, Zack McAllister and Corey Kluber, only to have their postseason dreams smashed by the continued use of Jimenez and Kazmir.
In the first half of the season, Kazmir had a 4.60 ERA, 4.42 FIP and 3.14 BB/9. Jimenez wasn't any better, posting marks of 4.56 ERA, 4.50 FIP and 4.83 BB/9.
Out of seemingly nowhere, they have both been on fire.
Jimenez has a 3-0 record and 0.42 ERA in September and has recorded 10 strikeouts in three of his last five starts after failing to reach that plateau at any point in the first four-and-a-half months of the season.
Meanwhile, Kazmir has a 1.87 BB/9 IP over his last 10 starts and has an absurd 22/0 K/BB ratio in September although Edinson Volquez is in third place on that list at with a K/BB ratio of 16/0 despite a career ratio of 1.78. So, you know, beware of sample sizes.
And then there's Salazar, who doesn't have a win or a loss in September, but has a league-leading 14.49 K/9.
Ironically, the pitchers who were previously holding the team back have been the ones holding the fort down while Masterson recovers from an oblique injury and McAllister continues to struggle to get people out in the second half of the season.
Who's Not: Michael Bourn
Everything about Bourn is worse than it had been over the previous four years. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walk rate, strikeout rate and stolen base count are all worse than they have been since his -0.2 WAR season in 2008.
Though somewhat injury-plagued, his play in the first half of the season was at least acceptable, as he was batting .290 with 13 stolen bases in 298 plate appearances. In the second half, however, he's sitting at .223 with just nine stolen bases in 242 trips to the plate. His September has been particularly dreadful, as he's batting .217 and nearly averaging one strikeout for every three at-bats.
Yet, Bourn has been in the leadoff spot in every game that he has started this season, giving away at-bats for a team desperately fighting for a playoff spot.