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

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Travis Hafner vs. Toronto Blue Jays (July 7, 2011)


The Indians were behind 4-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning on July 7, 2011 before a walk-off grand slam off the bat of Travis Hafner capped a five-run rally. It was the 20th comeback victory for Cleveland on the season and just the seventh time in 25 seasons that a player hit a walk-off grand slam with his team trailing by three runs. 

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The oft-emotionless Hafner took a vicious hack at the first pitch from Luis Perez, who had allowed just 11 hits and a .193 batting average to lefties all season, and yelled before admiring his towering show deep into the right field seats.

Cleveland was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position before the round-tripper, which followed hits by Travis Buck, Matt LaPorta and Asdrubal Cabrera. Oddly enough, Hafner claimed it was the Tribe’s 2014 MVP candidate Michael Brantley who gave him the scouting report on Perez:

"He said [Perez’s] fastball had a lot of sink, so I was looking for something up. I wanted to try and do it early."

The game marked the first start for Zach McAllister, who is fighting for a spot in this year’s rotation.

Next: September 24, 2013