For the past ten seasons, Travis Hafner was the face of the Cleveland Indians franchise. Now, the 35-year old reps the pinstripes for the New York Yankees. Monday marked Hafner’s first return to the place he called home for the past decade. Entering Monday’s game, the DH carried an impressive .350 average.
Following a standing ovation during the player introductions, Hafner wasted no time in spoiling his warm welcome. With two guys in the top of the first inning, Hafner crushed a pitch from opposing pticher, Ubaldo Jimenez. The home run marked his 100th career HR at the Indians Progressive Field. For his overall career, Hafner now has 202 HR.
Following the home run, the fans quickly turned sour and booed Hafner has he rounded the bases. I don’t blame them, but what did you expect from a guy that played the past ten years at that very ballpark. It was almost like a home game for the 11-year veteran.
Hafner’s big return did not end there as he went on to add another RBI to go along with two walks and three runs in the 11-6 Yankees victory. Hafner actually accounted for knocking in the first four runs the Yankees scored, each time giving his team the lead. His average on the year skyrocketed from .350 to .391 as he went 3-for-4. His home run off of Jimenez was the 158th different pitcher he has gone yard against.
Hafner was not the only one to go off vs the Indians on Monday. Yankees second baseman, Robinson Cano, also added two home runs in the road victory. The Yankees improve to 3-4 on the year and will face the Indians in the second game of a four game series.