Corey Kluber was electric once again, but there was zero lightening in the Indians offense. Another herculean effort from the reigning Cy Young winner was truly wasted, as the Tribe bats managed just one run on only 4 base hits in 10 innings en route to another difficult 2-1 loss in the Windy City.
The Klubot line was stellar: 9 IP, 5 H, 1 (highly questionable) ER, 12 K, 1 BB
Kluber’s cutter was at its best, as he consistently had hitters flailing away throughout the game. When Chicago batters sat on the cutter, they couldn’t catch up to the fastball. When they swung at the cutter, they couldn’t touch it. It was a dazzling performance–topped only by Kluber’s 18 strikeout outing in his previous start–in which the Tribe ace worked all parts of the strike zone and was in control throughout. The Sox’ only run off Kluber came when Adam Eaton over aggressively scrambled home on a wild pitch…he was a dead duck at the plate, but catcher Roberto Perez dropped the ball during the tag and Eaton slid in safely, notching Chicago’s only run off the Indians’ ace.
Unfortunately, Zach McAllister was the anti-Kluber. Z-Mac entered the game in the 10th inning, walked the leadoff batter on four pitches, struggled with his command, and battled through a rough inning. The game ended with a Carlos Sanchez walk-off single, which dropped just fair and just out of the reach of a diving Zach Walters.
Chris Sale nearly matched Kluber’s dominance, firing an impressive eight innings of 1-run ball, striking out seven and allow just two weeks and four base hits.
Some of my key notes from another devastating loss, despite the stellar Kluber performance:
*The Klubot has lowered his ERA from 5.04 to 3.79 with the back-to-back gems his last two starts.
*The Indians fall to 1-8 in games started by Corey Kluber in 2015. #remarkable
*One month ago to the day, Cody Allen blew a 3-0 Tribe lead during a 9th-inning meltdown in Chicago in a game where Mike Aviles misplayed a key 9th inning double with Michael Bourn on the bench. Monday night, multi-time Gold Glove winner Michael Bourn was again on the bench–with regular left fielder Michael Brantley playing center–when the game-winning base hit dropped just out of the reach of utility player Zach Walters in left field. When does Terry Francona start to get some of the blame for this horrific 14-23 start to the season? Subbing in your best defensive players in a tied game in extra innings is rather novice, yet these moves continue to be overlooked.
*The game-winning walkoff flair single by Carlos Sanchez was just his 5th hit of the season.
*Really Scary Trends: Indians fall to 7-17 against the AL Central and 4-10 versus left-handed starters.
*Even Scarier Trend: If it takes 90 wins to make the playoffs, then the Indians would need to go 76-49 to reach that plateau…that means they would need to play at a .608 clip for the rest of the season, after playing just .378 baseball to this point. It doesn’t look good.