TRAVIS “EFFING” HAFNER!
Wow! Did Travis Hafner really hit a one out, walk off, grand slam last night, or did I dream that?
Last night’s game was unlike anything we have ever seen. Then you remember that we saw this exact same thing happen back in April when Carlos Santana propelled the Indians to victory over the Tigers with a walk off grand slam of his own. Last night it was Pronk’s turn to show off some muscle and exit stage right with quite possibly one of the most dramatic endings you can have to a baseball game.
Speaking of flexing muscle, Hafner hit that ball higher than any home run I think I’ve ever seen. He also struck quite the pose, screaming in primal rage and flexing his muscles as the ball sailed off into the night. The reaction is understandable considering it was one of those home runs where you knew it was gone as soon as he hit it. There was never a doubt. Matt Underwood erupted. Tom Hamilton’s head exploded. Fans went nuts. And I… I had no idea it happened.
I had given up on the game about 45 minutes earlier. I was tracking the progress online while I channel surfed and finally closed out the window after Jose Bautista hit his 29th home run of the year to Canada. The Indians hadn’t done anything all game for the most part and I was convinced that the game was over. Then I received a tweet from Chris Ross, aka @paintstheblack. He’s a sports blogger from Vancouver and since the Jays are the only Canadian team in Major League Baseball, he’s a fan.
@paintstheblack: @DieHardNight come home to find the #BlueJays blew a 4-0 lead. Man that is depressing.
I get back online and see the Indians actually had won the game 5-4, scoring all 5 of their runs in the 9th inning, only I had no clue how. I immediately went to the Book of Faces (Facebook) and saw all the statuses about Hafner’s home run. Then I saw the replay online. Next thing I knew it was on ESPN (Speaking of ESPN, Hafner’s walk off slam was the #2 play on Sportscenter’s top 10 plays of the day. The #1 play… a soccer goal… in a game in which America wasn’t even a part of. This is America, we could care less about soccer. ESPN apparently didn’t get the memo. Seriously, a walk off grand slam… unbelievable). It’s been nearly 12 hours since it all went down and I still can’t believe that happened.
With the victory, the Indians once again kept pace with the Tigers to remain 1.5 games ahead in the central. With the Indians finally playing good baseball again it would be nice to see the Tigers lose. I’m fairly certain they’ve matched results over the course of the past week, at least it feels like that. Regardless, last night’s game is a huge step in the right direction.
Teams that win divisions and win championships find a way to steal games they have no business winning in the first place. Last night’s game was a prime example of that. They might as well have walked into the Blue Jays clubhouse wearing ski masks and clubbed them upside the head and took their wallets. This is what that was like. Same with the game in April against the Tigers. If the Indians manage to pull out the division come the end of September by one or two games, last night’s game may be a reason why. Again, a huge win…
And another chapter in the legend of Pronk.