Travis Hafner finally appeared to be over the shoulder problems that wrecked him for multiple years, hitting .345 with five homers and a .958 OPS while playing nearly every day for the Indians, but now a different injury has put his most productive season since 2006 on hold.
Hafner was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with a strained oblique and this afternoon the Indians placed him on the disabled list, where he joins center fielder Grady Sizemore.
Cleveland’s fast start has been both surprising and impressive, but can the Indians keep winning without two of their best hitters?
Michael Brantley has replaced Sizemore in center field, with Travis Buck and Austin Kearns platooning in left field, and Shelley Duncan figures to be the primary designated hitter with Hafner out.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.