Pronk on RBI tear

The reincarnation of Travis Hafner has driven in at least two runs in each of his last three games Рthe fourth such streak of his career and his first since since 2006.

Hafner is the 7th Tribesman in the past 50 years with at least four three-game multi-RBI streaks, but still well behind Manny Ramirez‘s record of 14.

Hafner’s six-game streak in 2005 is tied with Juan Gonzalez (2001) and Andre Thornton (1985) for the longest in team history.

Indians/Royals in a meaningful series?

Alright, so it’s probably too early to really, truly call this a meaningful series. But when it comes to Indians-Royals, this is about as big as it gets.

The Indians and Royals haven’t played a somewhat meaningful game since May, 1997.

On May 20 the Royals came to town tied for 1st with Tribe at 20-20. The Tribe trailed 3-2 entering the 8th when Manny Ramirez belted a two-run shot off of Jamie Walker to give the Indians the lead. The Indians would go one to sweep the series and the Royals stumbled to a 67-94 finish.

But this year feels a little bigger than that, perhaps because both teams are actually over .500, unlike in ’97.

The last time these two teams faced each other when both were at least five games over .500 was on June 28, 1995. The Indians entered the day 38-17, while the Royals were in 2nd place at 30-24. Charles Nagy would out-duel Kevin Appier that day, leading the Tribe to a 5-2 win. The Royals would finish that year in 2nd place with 70-74 record – a full 30 games behind the Tribe.

A quick note on Manny’s retirement

I tried to come up with a good not-so-obvious Manny Ramirez note following his retirement the other day, but couldn’t come up with anything original so I just decided to let it pass without a mention. Then today I was looking something up on Baseball-Reference and noticed that Ramirez is the Indians all-time leader in games played in right field (898 games).

I was actually shocked to see his name atop that list. He had a nice run here, but that’s a fairly small number of games for a team that’s been around 110 years. Manny’s 898 games in right field is the fewest games by the leader at any position for the Indians aside from DH. And by the end of the season, it’s possible that Travis Hafner (currently at 809 games) will surpass Ramirez.

Walk-offs vs former Indians

On Monday Matt LaPorta singled up the middle off A’s reliever (and former Indian) Craig Breslow to give the Indians the walk-off victory.

That got me thinking. How often have the Indians had a walk-off against a former Indian?

I suspected it hadn’t happened often, so naturally I was surprised to go back to 2007 and see that it had happened three times in that year alone.

It’s happened 11 times in the Jacobs Field era, and seven times since 2004.

Three of the hits have been home runs, the most memorable of which came in 1995 when Manny Ramirez‘s walk-off prompted Dennis Eckersley to yell “WOW” as he walked off the field.

Branyan enters the record books

Russell Branyan made his 3,000th career plate appearance last night, qualifying him for baseball-reference’s list of all-time leaders for at-bats per home run. He checks in at 14th with a 14.9 mark, just behind Ted Williams. Of the 13 players in front of him, four are in the Hall of Fame (Ruth, Kiner, Killebrew and Williams). Eight of the other nine belong in the Hall of Fame (unless steroids connections keep them out). The only non-HOFer of the group is Adam Dunn.

As an Indian, Branyan has homered once every 15.9 at-bats – ranking him 4th in team history behind Jim Thome, Albert Belle, and Manny Ramirez.