The Indians beat the White Sox 3-1 Friday afternoon. It wasn't pretty, but this time of year, a win is a win. Danny Salazar allowed just 4 hits and struck out 9... but he also pitched just 3.2 innings, as he was inefficient with his pitch count (due in part to striking so many out, of course) and Terry Francona continues to exercise caution with him. The offense, after exploding for 14 runs Thursday night, fell back into a funk, but three runs proved to be enough, as a parade of seven relief pitchers generally pitched well, give or take another nerve-wracking 9th inning by Chris Perez.
Among other Wild Card contenders, the Rays and Orioles each won, while the Rangers, Yankees, and Royals all lost. That puts the Tribe 2.5 games back of the first spot and 1.5 games back of the second spot, but ahead of the other teams in the chase.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||80||66||.547||1||Won 2|
|New York||79||69||.533||3||Lost 1|
|Kansas City||77||70||.523||4.5||Lost 1|
Other Tribe links:
At Baseball Nation, Mike Bates asks Brian Kenny to stop trying to kill his grandmother and explain's why Kenny's Kill the Win campaign is misguided at best. (And obnoxiously counterproductive at its worst, I would add.)
At The Hardball Times, James Gentile examines the advantage given to the home team in terms of the strike zone,especially late in close games, when there is a statistically significant difference in way similar pitches are called for each team.
At Grantland, Jonah Keri looks back on rookie Jose Fernandez's steller season, the best by a pitcher so young since Doc Gooden's otherworldly 1985 campaign.
It's time for my movie rankings to move into the early 1990s, an era I remember fondly as the first time I was allowed to go to the movies without adult supervision, leading to getting busted for seeing 'White Men Can't Jump' after a friend and I told his mom we were going to see 'Beethoven,' only to have his kid sister bust us by asking us our favorite part of the movie, which she'd already seen twice.
There's no way to limit myself to just six movies at this point, so I'll give my top six here, and then throughout the day I'll drop a top six for each year into the comments.
Favorite movies of the early 90s (1990-1994):
6) The Hudsucker Proxy - An under-appreciated gem from the Coen brothers
5) The Silence of the Lambs - The Academy got a lot of things right in this era
4) Unforgiven - Ruined most old Westerns for me
3) The Shawshank Redemption - As good as everyone says
2) Hoop Dreams - For my money, the greatest documentary ever
1) Jurassic Park - I saw it 11 times in theaters