#TBT: Best Cleveland Indians “Buzzer Beaters” of the Century

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 Travis Hafner vs. New York Yankees (Oct. 5, 2007)

The bugs get the assist in this one.

Known mostly for the freakish swarm of bugs that invaded Progressive Field and rattled the Yankees’ dynamite young reliever Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning, the Indians rallied to beat New York 2-1 in 11 innings to take a 2-0 lead in the 2007 ALDS. 

Any time you beat the Yankees, it is a big deal. But this game was monumental for a number of reasons.

Much like the 2013 Indians’ team, the 2007 crew carried a unique swagger. Fausto Carmona threw one of best games of his career, throwing nine innings and allowing just one run on three hits. Rafael Perez was electric in relief.

And then there was Travis Hafner.

Kenny Lofton started the rally with a one-out walk before Franklin Guitierrez singled to left. Casey Blake laid down a sacrifice bunt and Luis Vizcaino intentionally walked Grady Sizemore, setting the scene for the Indians’ designated hitter.

Sitting at 1-for-5 on the day, including two strikeouts against Andy Pettite, Hafner stepped to the plate and delivered a single to right-center field to score Lofton and give Cleveland a 2-0 series lead heading to New York.

The Indians eventually won the series 3-1.

Next: July 7, 2011