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Dispatch to Cleveland for a Party at Napoli’s – the Wildest Party of the Summer

[Box Score]

I went with my buddy Justin to Cleveland on an almost 90-degree humid night to see the first place Cleveland Indians take on the Houston Astros on Roberto Clemente Day.

I wanted to see Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. I was about 20 miles from the stadium when inevitably I got a text about Carlos Correa being sent back to Houston for shoulder inflammation. Of course.

It was still a great game and a great night. And I can say I was part of the Napoli experience in Cleveland in the summer of 2016.

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Beautiful night in Cleveland other than being so damn hot. The first thing I noticed in Cleveland was Progressive Field looks a lot different. They’ve done a good job on this park. The second thing I noticed is the fans that were there – and they weren’t there in abundance – but the ones that were seemed to be knowledgable and into the game. Except the one guy I saw on his laptop, a first for me at a baseball game.

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Sandy Alomar Jr. warming up the catcher in the outfield. Lots of good childhood memories of this guy and he looks like he could still play.

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Carlos ‘Cookie’ Carrasco making his warm up tosses in the outfield before heading to the ‘pen to warm up before the game.

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Doug Fister warming up – really like how the Cleveland Bullpens are structured at the park so you can watch the pitchers get loose. You’re right on top of the opposing pitcher too. I’m sure this was by design.

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Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, and Jacob Marisnick during the National Anthem.

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As I said before, it was Roberto Clemente Day at the park. I always loved Roberto Clemente as a kid after reading ‘The Pride of Puerto Rico’ in every grade during free time; and I mean I read it grade two, three, four, five, and remember having it in my book bag in grade six.

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Alex Bregman played shortstop last night in Carlos Correa’s absence. Really nice looking young player.

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Francisco Lindor was the best thing I saw last night. This is just before the first inning. He’s a special player. More on him in a bit.

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George Springer getting ready for the first pitch of the game.

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Jose Altuve in the midst of what is a likely MVP season for him. He had at least one knock I remember seeing.

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Francisco Lindor filled the stat sheet last night. He had three hits – he slashed a single to the opposite field in this at bat. He was hit by the pitch and also stole a base. He was also on base when Mike Napoli hit his tape measure job to put the Indians ahead.

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Love this shot of Tito Francona. It sure looks like he’s still chewing. Great manager, although a bit questionable at handling the bullpen.

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When I think of this Indians team, of course you think of the pitchers. But my mind thinks of Lindor and Jose Ramirez. The heart and soul of the Tribe. He’s a great player, also had at least one knock that I remember, a line drive to center in the second inning.

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Yuliesky Gurriel is a nice looking player. I saw his first big league home run, a no-doubter off Andrew Miller that cut the lead from 6-3 to 6-5 in a hurry.

If you’re keeping score at home, I’ve seen Gurriel’s and Albert Almora’s first career home runs this season. Not bad for a guy who has made just two live games all season.

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Rajai Davis in left, or as my buddy calls him “Kitty Paws”.

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Andrew Miller making the route from the bullpen in the eighth inning. We were excited to get to see Miller, but he was not as advertised on this night.

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Miller with the facial hair he didn’t have in the Bronx. I think this is just before he gave up the bomb to Gurriel.

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For a team in first place, the stadium was fairly empty. These were about the only fans in the second deck in the outfield. The turnout wasn’t great, even though the kids are back in school and all and it was a hot Wednesday night.

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Really good look at the Indians right field which has changed a lot through the years.

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Francisco Lindor getting his only RH at bat of the evening, he flew out to medium depth left field against Tony Sipp.

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Kipnis and Lindor on base in the first.

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A look at where the World Champion Cavs played this past season. My buddy said he loves Progressive Field because it’s one of the only parks in baseball where you feel the city is actually part of the park. I think he stole that from Don Mattingly though because I heard Mattingly say the same thing once.

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After Cody Allen struck out the final hitter, we got to the car and ran the shit out of the AC and listened to WTAM 1100 all the way back to Columbus. I’m glad we went.