The Indians won in dramatic fashion last night on a three-run walk-off home run by Jason Kipnis in the 10th inning. It was Kipnis' third home run of the week. Earlier in the night, the story for the Tribe was Ubaldo Jimenez, who struck out a season-high 9, but drove up his pitch count in the process and was pulled after facing one hitter in the 6th inning. He needs to work on avoiding going deep into so many counts, but it was still another encouraging start for him. It was also his third straight start with 8+ strikeouts, the first time he's had a streak like that as an Indian.
Here's video of Kipnis' blast:
Dennis Manoloff has the Plain Dealer's recap of the game. Attendance last night was 34,282 (with $1 hot dogs and post-game fireworks playing a role, but building enthusiasm a factor too). Manoloff notes that walk-up tickets sales were responsible for 6,700 tickets, the sixth-highest total in stadium history. That's encouraging.
In Indians' news from before last night's game:
Jerry Crasnick at ESPN takes a look at the recent success of the Indians' rotation. This was mentioned in the comments yesterday, but is worth mentioning again, since many may have missed it. There are quotes from pitching coach Mickey Callaway on many of the starters.
Jordan Bastian and Mark Emery at MLB.com have notes from yesterday, including more from Callaway, Jason Kipnis' revamped swing, and Vinnie Pestano's return to the club (he pitched a scoreless inning last night).
Ben Lindbergh at Grantland (he is also the editor-in-chief at Baseball Prospectus) looks at "The Art of Pitch Framing." It's a long read, but worth the time. If nothing else read through the first section, which gives a good overview and explains just what a massive difference it now seems a good catcher can make, simply by his ability to actually catch the ball. Jose Molina is the best in the biz at this.
Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports discusses whether fewer players reaching free agency is good or bad for players. He talks to Scott Boras and other about the extensions many young players have since of late, extensions that keep them from becoming free agency until later on in their careers. Certainly players like Evan Longoria have missed out on a lot of money by signing such deals, but I don't see any reason to be upset about a contract a player chose to sign in order to obtain financial security for life.
Jayson Stark at ESPN lists what he sees as the best ways to improve umpiring in MLB. Increased accountability is a recurring theme in his suggestions, but improved work conditions/benefits for the umpires is also mentioned. Stark also has a thought on who should be recruited to serve as the next generation of umpires, current minor league players.
'The Office' aired its series finale Thursday night, wrapping up a nine-season run. Meanwhile, we're only eight days away from the return of 'Arrested Development,' which debuted a year and a half before 'The Office,' but has been off the air for more than seven and a half years now. These are two of the most-loved comedies in recent years, and they got me thinking about my favorites.
Top TV Comedies of the 2000s
6) The Simpsons - Its peak was clearly in the 90s, but there have been plenty of really good episodes in the 2000s too. 'Archer' and 'Futurama' are other animated shows I really enjoy, but I'm giving this spot to the godfather.
5) Curb Your Enthusiasm - Pretty... pretty... pretty... pretty good. At it's best, it nearly matches Seinfeld, but it doesn't have the consistency of my favorite comedies.
4) Louie - Some episodes of this don't seem like they should be viewed as comedy. It doesn't always 'work,' but it is always interesting. I don't know of any show I'd compare it to.
3) The Office - Because it hasn't been as good the last couple years, it can be easy to overlook just how funny it was for many years.
2) Parks and Recreation - Pawnee, Indiana is one of the most colorful and fully realized fictional settings on TV.
1) Arrested Development - Tragically cut down before its time. I am really excited to be getting another season.