Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Brantley's First Career Walk-off Home Run!

earlier tonight, on May 19, 2014, Michael Brantley hit his first career walk-off home run, his 9th home run this season, against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field in front of 12,709 ecstatic fans. when he came to bat in the bottom of the 10th inning with 2 outs, nobody on, and the game tied at 4, and he swung and missed at the 4th pitch of the at bat, you could tell he just wanted to end the game right there. and i thought how awesome it would be for Michael if he could get himself a walk-off homer and be the hero of the night.

now Michael is no stranger to late inning heroics. he's had plenty of go-ahead RBI hits in his career that gave the Indians a lead they would never relinquish, but he's never had an official walk-off hit. the closest he came was on May 10, 2011, when he drew a bases loaded walk-off walk in the bottom of the 9th inning against Kyle Farnsworth and the Tampa Bay Rays.

but tonight was different. Michael showed patience and confidence at the plate against Detroit's Al Alburquerque. the count was full, and on the 7th pitch, he just pounded that ball to the visitors bullpen in deep right field. i was lucky enough to be able to watch this game on TV because ESPN was kind enough to show it. (i think they were just trying to embarrass Cleveland by showing the Indians-Tigers game in assumption that the Tigers would demolish us. too bad that didn't happen lol) but of course, i still had Hammy on my computer for great audio. Hammy was ahead of the TV by a pitch and when i heard Hammy start screaming, "A SWING AND A DRIVE TO DEEP RIGHT," my eyes lit up and i screamed, "HOLY SHIT!" he finally did it! and to get to see that as it was happening made me very happy. i could not have been more proud.

Michael got absolutely mobbed at home plate, literally running into a waterfall and his teammates. this was nothing like the walk-off walk from 2011, where he was actually running away from his teammates lol he welcomed this celebration and loved every second of it. and he deserved it.

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer

photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer

"i hit it kind of low," said Brantley, after the first walk-off homer of his career. "i was kind of nervous and trying to run at the same time. i was fortunate enough that the ball went out. after that i don't remember much until i got to my teammates (at home plate) and they started beating on me."

when Brantley got to the plate, his teammates not only mugged him, they doused him with water. "it's cold outside and they're throwing ice cold water on me. then they got me good with the cooler (during a postgame interview). no one gave me a heads up. i heard them coming, but i didn't want to dive out of the way." (postgame quotes courtesy of Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer)

some fun facts about Michael's walk-off home run:

--it's the 71st walk-off home run in Jacobs Field/Progressive Field history.

--it's their 12th walk-off home run against the Tigers, which is the most against any team.

--it's also the first walk-off home run the Indians have hit against the Tigers since Carlos Santana did it on April 29, 2011.

congratulations, Michael! <3

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