Covering the Bases: Game 81


Major League Bastian

Final:

Indians 12, Angels 3

FIRST: Indians manager Manny Acta referred to “The Hafner Effect” following his team’s rout over the Angels. It’s too easy to say Pronk’s return is the reason for the Tribe’s lopsided win, but his impact was certainly noticeable.

Consider the first inning. After Jason Kipnis drew a two-out walk from Ervin Santana — let’s not let Kipnis’ free pass get lost in this — Travis Hafner engaged in an 11-pitch battle with the Angels pitcher. The DH fouled off six pitches and took five, four of which were balls. It was a critical walk that helped wear a struggling Santana down.

“That was a phenomenal at-bat,” said Michael Brantley. “He was up there battling really hard — fouling off some tough pitches. When you wear down a pitcher like that, it obviously makes them a little bit tired and maybe they’ll leave a ball up…

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