Sunday, August 13, 2006

There were a couple of instances of hotness and streakiness in today's 13-0 Cleveland win over Kansas City.

Travis Hafner hit his sixth grand-slam homer of the season, tying Don Mattingly's MLB record. As the linked article notes, "Hafner is 8-for-13 with six homers and 29 RBI this season with the bases loaded." What this means is that, on nearly "Haf" of his bases-loaded at-bats, he has homered (6 of 13)!

The thing about a bases-loaded situation is that, in order to avoid walking in a run, the pitcher is under pressure to keep the ball around the strike zone. This, in turn, presumably allows the batter to concentrate on a smaller area in following an incoming pitch. I'm certainly not saying this accounts completely for Hafner's grand-slam rate, but it's probably a factor.

Hafner's offensive punch was not isolated, however. Cleveland took an 11-0 lead in the first inning, with "[t]he first 10 Indians to bat all reach[ing] base and scor[ing] against Luke Hudson (5-4)."

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