Travis Hafner doesn't appear to be the overly vindictive sort. That's why you'll probably never get him to admit how good it must have felt to stick it to the White Sox's Mark Buerhle earlier today.
Ten months ago, Buerhle put Hafner on the disabled list with a fastball to the face. Whether Buerhle meant to hit Hafner is up for debate, but he certainly meant to buzz him high and tight.
Despite the efforts of Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton to throw fuel on the fire every time Hafner faces Buehrle, the two have kept any simmering fallout to themselves.
Today, Hafner got his revenge the right way, with a three-run homer off Buehrle that gave C.C. Sabathia all the support he needed in a 7-1 win, though Sabathia did have to wriggle out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning.
Today's win offers some stability to an Indians team that is punch drunk from one too many uppercuts to the pitching staff. It also slows down a White Sox team that had won 17 of 20 heading into today, if only a bit.
The Indians now head to the West Cost to face Oakland and Seattle, and then back to (gulp) Kansas City.
Once again, an opportunity to make up ground. But not if the pitching staff keeps slamming into the wall, game after game.