Corey Kluber’s Complete Game Earns Tribe a Series Sweep
The Indians have been struggling to get solid production from their starting rotation. A below average defense combined with an exceptionally high number of walks have led to more stressful innings, more runs crossing the plate, and an overall sense that the starting rotation is in need of a serious makeover.
Enter Corey Kluber.
All Kluber did on Thursday afternoon was throw a complete game in which he allowed only one run to cross the plate on four hits. And as if that wasn’t enough, he also struck out 11 batters. To say that Kluber was on top of his game would be the understatement of all understatements. Simply put, Kluber was dominant on Wednesday.
Kluber’s performance was exactly what the Indians needed out of a starter. After diving headfirst into his bullpen sooner than he would like to all season long, Terry Francona desperately needed a start like this from one of his starters. He needed to give his bullpen some much-needed rest. Thanks to Kluber, the bullpen heads to San Francisco refreshed and ready to take on the Giants this weekend.
Offensively, the Indians did all of their damage in the bottom of the fifth. After a lead off double and much-needed sign of life from Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley singled him home on a ground ball back up the middle. After the Indians loaded the bases, David Murphy continued his hot start to the season. He slapped a two-run single down the left field line to plate a pair of runs and make it a 3-0 game. Two batter later, with runners on second and third, Asdrubal Cabrera laced a two-run double to the gap in left center. That put the Indians up by a score of 5-0 and essentially put the game out of reach.
Following the offensive outburst, Kluber continued his dominance. He mowed through the Royals lineup with very little in the way of offensive opposition. Even the Royals lone run of the game came on an error by Nick Swisher. Had Swisher not committed an error in the seventh inning, the Royals never get their lone run of the game. Of course, it would be very unlike the Indians to make it through a game without a defensive miscue right now.
With the victory, the Indians pushed their record back to .500. They are also right in the middle of the AL Central log jam. All five teams are separated by no more than two games and four of the five have 11 wins. The fifth team, Kansas City, has 10 wins.