Chipper Jones was on the MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette. They asked him about a number of things, including instant replay. Chipper had this to say about calls overturned against a certain umpire with whom he has a history:
There needs to be some adjustments to how quickly it is done, but I love it. Every time Angel Hernandez gets challenged I love it! … My goodness, it warms my heart every time I get on Twitter and I hear that Angel Hernandez got a call overturned because all of my followers, they know my affection towards Angel Hernandez and when he gets a call overturned they are all over it, my Twitter feed lights up.”
Even better would be if no Angel Hernandez calls were ever reviewed by virtue of MLB going to a pure merit system with umpires, thereby pushing him out of the business, but let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.