We here at IPL have an arrangement with Getty Images wherein they let us use their photos in this blog, as long as we give proper attribution. I almost always use a Getty photo at the top of my game recaps.
But not today. The photo you see above was taken by me with my Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s an image from Wednesday’s SportsTime Ohio broadcast of the game. I wanted to use a photo of something rare, something a Getty photographer didn’t capture. I wanted a photo of Corey Kluber smiling.
Kluber’s not a smilin’ kind of guy, most of the time. He tries to keep an even keel, whether things are going good or bad for him and for the Indians. But tonight things went very well for Kluber, who pitched a complete-game shutout, and for the Indians, who put up four runs in the fourth inning. The Indians wound up beating the Detroit Tigers by a score of 4-0, and when the game was over, even Corey Kluber couldn’t help but smile.
It wasn’t all fun and games out there for Kluber. He pitched himself into trouble in the second inning, loading the bases with one out after giving up a single and back-to-back walks. But the next Tiger batter hit a grounder to first, allowing Mike Napoli to throw to home for the force. Kluber then bore down and struck out Ian Kinsler to end the inning with no damage done.
Kluber also got into a jam in the fourth inning, when the first two Tigers reached base. With runners at first and third, the next hitter grounded into a double play, and the runner at third had to remain there. Again a strikeout ended the inning.
In their half of the fourth inning, five of the first six Tribe batters reached base. A walk, a hit batter, a single, two doubles, and a wild pitch allowed the Indians to score four runs. Glad for the run support, Kluber allowed only one more Tigers baserunner over the final five innings, and that runner was retired as part of a double play. During one stretch, Kluber got five consecutive Tigers batters to hit grounders to Francisco Lindor at short, who handled them with his usual aplomb. Bringing Lindor to the big leagues at the right time was one of the best moves this franchise has made in recent history. His future looks bright, people. But you already knew that.
The Indians can sweep the Tigers again with a victory in Thursday’s game, which will be played at Progressive Field at 6:10 PM.