The Indians lost another game in frustrating fashion Friday night, with Justin Masterson pitching well, but Marc Rzepczynski and Cody Allen coughing up a 7th-inning lead, and Michael Brantley hitting the ball hard with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, but in the wrong direction. Michael Bourn went 0-5, continuing a terrible start to his season, while Carlos Santana finally hit his first home run of the season, on what felt like his first hit in years:
Other Tribe items:
Though he gave up the hit that allowed the game-losing run to score Friday night, Cody Allen has won a lot of trust from Terry Francona: "His role is to not only get outs, but he makes everybody else better. For a younger kid, that's an immense amount of confidence in him. And he's earned it."
Jason Giambi will be recalled on Monday. No word yet on who will be sent down, though there's some chance it will be one of the eight relief pitchers. Elliot Johnson seems like the other candidate.
If you want to relive Nick Swisher getting hit by a pitch he swung at, Carson Cistulli has a GIF of it at FanGraphs.
Down on the farm:
Clint Frazier made his full-season debut with the Captains (Single-A) Thursday night. He played center field and went 1 for 5. If he follows the same path as Francisco Lindor, he'll spend the whole season with Lake County (but it sure would be cool if he hit well enough to force a promotion to Carolina in July). Here's a short clip from The Plain Dealer of him talking about the experience:
Higher up the organizational ladder, third-base prospect Giovanny Urshela is off to a great start for the Akron RubberDucks (Double-A). Indians Director of Player Development Ross Atkins is thrilled with what he's seeing. He says Urshela has been the top defensive player at the position in the system for a while, but this year there's something new: "He's getting on base, he's showing plate discipline, he's walking more than he has ever walked."
One more minor-league note: Jesus Aguilar (speaking of guys off to a hot start at the plate) is going to spend some time playing third base. His chances of succeeding there strike me as slimmer than Carlos Santana's, but maybe he'll prove me wrong.
Chuck Culpepper at Sports on Earth has an excellent piece on David Robinson, the youngest child of Jackie Robinson. At the age of 61, Robinson is a coffee farmer in Tanzania, where he has lived for more than 30 years.
Jeff Sullivan examines whether or not ace pitchers are given a larger strike zone by umpires. I don't know if the findings will surprise you or not, because I don't know what you expect the findings to be. Either way though, it's an interesting read.
This week's off-topic topic:
This weekend's widest new release is Transcendence, about a man who dies but has his brain installed in a supercomputer... or something like that. I'm pretty sure it's a ripoff of The Lawnmower Man. It looks pretty bad to me, so I have no intention of seeing it, and I'm all but certain it will be a major flop at the box office.
What are the best movies in which a computer (or computers) play a central role? I'm trying to keep the focus on what most of us would consider a computer, not a robot. Clearly in many movies that's a fine line, but I am not including movies like Terminator or Blade Runner, for what that's worth. Maybe I'll do a robot-movie list sometime soon. Here are my favorites:
5) Sneakers - Robert Redford, Sidney Pottier, and River Phoenix are part of a team trying to steal a little black box that has the power to break any encryption system in the world.
4) The Social Network - I was bummed out when I learned David Fincher was making a Facebook movie, because it seemed like a waste of a David Fincher movie. This is what I get for doubting his career choices.
3) War Games - Most movies centered around computers age horribly, but this one holds up incredibly well.
2) Her - My favorite movie of last year, captures something about today while creating a plausible version of the future (except for the part where no on in Los Angels seems to drive anymore).
1) 2001: A Space Odyssey - A slow pace and a strange final act turn some viewers off, but don't bother me. The technical mastery on display remains impressive nearly 50 years on, and HAL remains the computer in cinema history.