With the first half of the Major League Baseball season coming to a close this weekend and the All-Star break just days away, I figured now would be as good a time as any to reflect on what we have watched thus far. After all, the are Indians playing well and in the middle of a pennant race in the AL Central so a lot has happened. Yes, there has been some bad, but the greater majority of the season has provided some quality memories. So, keeping along those lines, I decided to ask the staff to choose their favorite moment from the first half of the 2013 Indians season. Here is what they had to say. (refresh page if video players do not appear)
Merritt Rohlfing: It’s been a good year for featherheads (thanks for that Ed) but for me the best thing to happen this season is either the Kipnis walk-off because it was just a boss moment or the 4 game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago, The second one in particular because I have friends who are Sox fans and live in Chicago, so I got to bask in their misery. Plus, it’s not been done since 1948, when the Indians won the Series, and it included the aforementioned Kipnis beating the tar out of his former hometown team. Yeah, the Sox suck this year, but they’ve been such a thorn in the side of the Indians for the last forever or so and it was just cathartic. Plus I got to listen to Hawk Harrelson get steadily more miserable as the series wore on. Good times really. Here’s hoping for a better second half, led by Danny Salazar. Incidentally, also a brilliant highlight.
Matthew Trevathan: This is easy for me. Kipnis’ walk-off home run against the Mariners on the 17th of May was something magical. It was in front of a sellout crowd, fireworks night, and I’m convinced it was that moment that he and thousands of fans (myself included) really admitted that he has an opportunity to be a true franchise player.
I’ve even included Tom Hamilton‘s home run call for your listening pleasure.
Kyle Downing: My favorite moment was Jason Kipnis‘ spectacular running stop of that ground ball up the middle, followed by a stunning behind the back flip to Cabrera. It saved a run from scoring and almost turned two. I remember seeing the play and thinking the ball had gotten through. Then I was flabbergasted when I saw the ball flying to first base.
Brian Heise: My favorite moment of the year so far had to be Jason Kipnis’ game winning home run, but for the sake of not sounding repetitive, I’ll instead go with Justin Masteron’s 1-0 complete game shut out of the Yankees back on May 13th. He was spectacular that day and dominated the Yankees in game 1 of a double-header. Hearing the crowd go nuts while I listened to the game in my car made me wish I was there. On the year Masterson now has three shutouts to his credit and has completely reestablished himself as the ace of the staff.
Katrina Putnam: I think my favorite moment so far was in the series against the Oakland A’s, when Jarrod Parker intentionally drilled Mark Reynolds with a pitch after giving up multiple home runs that inning, and Reynolds responded by hitting a huge solo shot of his own in his next at-bat. The home run was pretty great revenge to begin with, but the way he just spit on the ground and then smirked out at Parker before casually trotting around the bases turned it into the most awesome thing ever. I don’t care if he hits .220 the rest of the way, that was still an epic moment. The repeated walk-off wins against the Seattle Mariners rank a pretty close second, though.
And for the record… Shame on all of us. Nobody on the staff responded with this home run by Mark Reynolds. You know, the home run he hit right after he walked up to the plate with “Gutter to the Grail” as his walk up music.