Many people considered this post-All-Star break road trip to be the deciding factor in whether or not the Indians could make some potential playoff noise. If the first two games of this crucial series are any indication, The Indians have no intention of going away without a fight.
Following Trevor Bauer’s strong effort on Friday, Corey Kluber (8.2 INN/7 H/2 ER/10 SO/1 BB) steered the Indians to a cruising 6-2 victory. Utilizing his patented wipeout slider, the Tribe’s ace sliced and diced the Tigers’ formidable offense. The Tribe bats took their time waiting out Tiger rookie, Drew VerHagen (5 INN/5 H/ 3 ER/4 SO 3BB), who got the call from Triple-A Toledo to make his Major League debut. VerHagen frustrated the Indians for the first four innings, but Nick Swisher‘s rocket RBI-double over the head of Tigers’ centerfielder Austin Jackson seemed to loosen the resolve of the rookie as the Indians would tack on three in the fifth.
For Kluber, the that would be plenty as he not only tamed the Tigers for more than seven innings, but he saved a bullpen that may be needed later on today. Throwing free and easy with very little to worry about on the basepaths, Kluber pitched from the rocking chair all day. Both RBIs were infield squibbers that barely made the cold-blooded demeanor of Kluber even tick. Buoyed by two insurance runs off of the currently very bad Tigers’ pen, Kluber was given the opportunity to go the distance, but Miguel Cabrera‘s lead-off double eventually turned into the second Tiger run. While #IndiansTwitter decried Tito’s (correct) decision to pull him an out away from his second complete game of the season, Bryan Shaw finished off the 27th out with relative ease.
Jason Kipnis continued to look like he’s starting to get locked in as he lead the Tribe hitters with two RBI.
With this series holding much more importance to our boys than it is to them, the Indians have put themselves in great position to get the unofficial “second half” off right with a possible series win. Zach McAllister will take to the hill for the Indians in the game-two nightcap and he will be paired against Max Scherzer.
W: Kluber (10-6); L: VerHagen (0-1)