June 29, 2005

Hafner Huge

What a buzz!

The Tribe had blown a 4-1 lead, and were down 8-5 going into the 8th inning at Fenway Park tonight. But they tied the game on a clutch 2-out single by Jhonny Peralta in the ninth, then loaded the bases for Travis Hafner, who ripped an 0-2 pitch down the right field line into the seats just inside the foul pole for a game winning grand slam. The rowdy Fenway fans were stunned into silence. Suh-weet!

Hafner has had enough production in the two games against Boston to make Player of the Week. Four doubles, two home runs, and 8 RBI for the big man, who has led the Indians to two huge wins on the road against the world champs. Even Bob "Heart Failure" Wickman made the bottom of the ninth look amazingly easy, retiring the shellshocked Red Sox on three pitches. I would also be interested to know when the last time was that a player went hitless in a game, but scored four runs. That's what Grady Sizemore did tonight.

Here's hoping this is a confidence boost for the Indians, who had a nine game winning streak rudely ended by getting swept in three straight by the Red Sox in Cleveland last week. If we can play with these guys, maybe we'll start acting like a playoff team. A 4-2 record in the six games remaining in the first half of the season would give them a 45-36 record, halfway to that 90-win season I predicted.

Nobody knew the White Sox would run away and hide in the Central, but the Wild Card is still well within reach. At the moment, the Tribe is one game behind Minnesota and Baltimore for that spot, and both of those teams are showing signs of vulnerability lately. Interesting times indeed.

Posted by dan at June 29, 2005 1:31 AM