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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pronk lives, Westbrook cruises, and the Indians sneak a win in Anaheim

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 10:51 AM

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When all hope seemed to be lost, Travis Hafner pounded the first pitch he saw in the 9th inning deep into the CaliforniaLosAngelesAnaheimWestCoast night to salvage a much-needed Wahoo victory. With two outs, a 3-2 deficit staring the Tribe squarely in the eye, and another wonderful outing by Jake Westbrook on the verge of being wasted like Charlize Theron in Monster, something resembling offense returned to the Tribe’s bats after a brief self-imposed suspension. ... Earlier in the game, Travis Hafner had a 2-0 count against Ervin Santana in the 3rd inning. That’s the get-it-over fastball count, especially with Victor Martinez on deck. Hafner got the fastball and sailed the ball down the left field line for a lazy fly-out, a vision that’s become all too common. Something bothered me about the at-bat. Why would Pronk try to go to left field in such a good hitter’s count? Turns out, that’s not what he was trying to do at all. On the broadcast, Rick Manning pointed out that Hafner was simply behind the ball – not a good sign for a fastball-whacking power hitter. Pronk has looked bad on all sorts of pitches this year. That 3rd inning at-bat still scares me a little bit, as does the fear that Hafner has indeed lost some bat speed. But the 9th inning dinger allayed that fear, at least temporarily. Other Notes: Asdrubal Cabrera proved why we shouldn’t worry about his mini-slump to start the year. He drove in two runs, and had a hell of a collision at second base, on a single in the 5th inning with two outs. RISP w/ 2 outs is something the Tribe has struggled with, and AstroCab came through. - Jake Westbrook looked like Jake Westbrook last night. He pitched quickly, kept his pitch count down – which was great because he got the chance for the complete game and saved Clevo fans the stomach ulcer of watching JoeBo go for another save – and threw 64 of his 94 pitches for strikes. More importantly, his vaunted change-up, a pitch he’s apparently been working on since last fall, looked unhittable at times. He didn’t get rattled when Vlady Dady cherry picked a hanging curve for a homerun, finishing the game strong and tallying three more strikeouts. - Ryan Garkonoponopolous continues to show patience at the plate, drawing another walk, and is adjusting his swing nicely with two strikes - Victor is getting hits right now, but is pulling almost every ball on the ground toward the right side of the infield. When he starts getting his line drive stroke down, watch out. - Breaking news: David Dellucci got a hit. – Vince Grzegorek

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