I have to be honest, I wasn’t too optimistic about the Tribe’s chances today. The offense was coming off their worst 3-game stretch (3 runs total across three games) since the early season, and struggled mightily Tuesday night to get anything going. In addition to that, this would be Corey Kluber’s first start since the abject disaster that happened in Detroit. This game would also represent the 4th game played by the Indians in a 48-hour span, so it would be easy to chalk another offensive dud up to fatigue.
Kluber and the Indians offense, however, must have missed the memo.
Kluber (3-2) looked fantastic today, and was a couple of 2-out hits away from a much cleaner stat line than the respectable 6 IP 3 ER that he posted this afternoon. Kluber allowed six hits and did not walk a batter (Hooray!). I still don’t think he’s long for this rotation, but I can definitely appreciate the pitching effort that Corey put out there today. This team needed it, he needed it, and I’m happy for him. In addition to his pitching success, Kluber worked a couple of really good at-bats today, going to a full count twice, and working a walk that started a 2-out rally.
The Indians offense, which has looked befuddled and impotent over the last two days, roared back to life under the Philadelphia sun. The heart of the Indians order, silenced recently, did all the damage today. Jason Kipnis collected two doubles and smacked a 3-run home run in the 8th inning to give the Indians a 10-3 lead (his first non-first-inning dinger of the season). Asdrubal Cabrera, still swooning a bit to start the season, had two hits of his own, including a 2-out, 2 RBI knock in the 6th inning to extend the lead. Nick Swisher hit another home run, a deep fly ball that just wrapped around the foul pole in left field, and Mark Reynolds shook off a cranky elbow of his own to knock in a 2-run double to open the scoring.
The Indians go into the off day and the weekend series with the Mariners at 22-17, poised to be tied with or only a game behind Detroit if Houston can hold on (Update: They did!), so I anticipate a good crowd ready to welcome their Tribe back home after a much-needed day off. Ubaldo Jimenez will take the hill looking to post his 4th-straight good start, and it’s dollar dog night, and there are fireworks. What are you doing? Make sure you have tickets right now!
As we say on the Twitters, #RollTribe