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Raise your hand if you were surprised Guillen left Garland in that long, especially to face Hafner. Ozzie's handling of the pen is becoming more and more odd. I'm not quite sure why he thought Garland could get Hafner out there. Garland had started the inning by giving up a hit to Sizemore. Sizemore was bunted over by Coco Crisp. He then walked Peralta. Does that not just scream for a pitching change? Cotts has struck out Hafner 4 times in 8 ABs. Marte has K'd him 9 in 17 ABs. Garland was cheese. Terrible move by Ozzie. Of course, who knows if it would have mattered. Probably not.

Speaking of Hafner, how can you not love the guy? I love his fire and intensity. And he came up huge in the most important series of the year against the Sox. 7-12, 4 HR, 3 2B, 10 RBI, 5 runs and 3 BB. And yes you are reading that correctly--all of his hits in the series were extra-base hits. He is in the top 10 in the AL in HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS, BB, AVG. And big surprise here--for all you young players (or Cubs) reading this--Hafner is 7th in the league in pitches seen per plate appearance.

On the homer off Garland in the 8th (he added another in the 9th), Hafner was behind 0-2. He fouled a few off and worked it to a full count. And then jacked it for a homer. Incredible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the last 2 seasons, Hafner has been one of those guys I check in the boxscores everyday. I was going to write "He's the new Jim Thome", but that might be selling him a little short--he looks to be a better overall hitter. He is definitely one of my favorites. Really that whole team is made up of guys that are fun to watch--Crisp, Sizemore, Peralta. They're all "ballplayers", as a manager might say, yet they have actual talent, too.