It’s over, it’s finally over. The Indians finally ended their eight game losing streak last night thanks to a spectacular pitching performance by Corey Kluber. Yes, the same Corey Kluber who has been ridiculed and cast aside by many pundits, myself included, as nothing more than an emergency starter turned in an outing to remember.
Over the course of eight innings of work, Kluber allowed 1 run on 6 hits while walking and striking out three batters apiece. It was the type of performance the Indians desperately needed. With Kluber on cruise control, the bullpen was able to get legitimate rest for the first time in what seemed like more than a week and the offense didn’t have to worry about playing catch up. It’s they type of performance you’d wish Justin Masterson would have turned in on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the offense also came to life on Tuesday night. The Indians scored 5 runs on 11 hits and roughed up Rangers’ starter Derek Holland who gave up 9 hits and only struck out 4. It was his first registered loss since April 27 at Minnesota. On the top of the fourth, the Tribe got their scoring going when Mark Reynolds supplied and RBI single to right to score Ryan Raburn. In the top of the fifth, Drew Stubbs and Nick Swisher delivered a two and one run singles respectively. Finally in the top of the seventh, Jason Kipnis scored from third on a wild pitch to put the Tribe up 5-0.
The Rangers responded in the eighth and ninth innings. David Murphy singled home Jurickson Profar to end Kluber’s shut out. Then A.J. Pierzynski homered off of Joe Smith to make it a 5-2 ball game. Smith eventually worked his way out of the inning by shutting the door on the Rangers for a 5-2 victory.
The Good: Corey Friggin’ Kluber. Raise your hand if you had Kluber coming out and throwing eight spectacular innings to end the Tribe’s eight game losing streak. Anyone? Anyone at all? I have to give credit where credit is due. Kluber was outstanding and has very quietly begun building a case for a permanent spot in the rotation.
The Bad: The streak finally came to an end. After what we’ve all endured over the past week to week and a half we have no room to complain after last night’s result. Now, here’s hoping the Indians can come out tonight and make it two in a row.
The “Huh?”: Ryan Raburn batted out of the cleanup spot last night with Michael Brantley dropping all the way back down to seventh. Yes, this was most likely due in part to Holland being an above average left-handed pitcher, but if I had told you back during spring training that Ryan Raburn would be hitting cleanup, chances are you would have thought things had gone very, very wrong.