It’s the playoffs, so there’s no times to play pretty games. Score more than the other guys and move on to the next game. For Corey Kluber (6.1 INN/6 H/6 SO/2 BB) and Francisco Lindor, that’s just fine.
The Indians’ ace had to wade through some treacherous waters in the first three innings, having constant traffic that probably should have shifted the game into Toronto’s favor early on, but in true KLUBOT fashion, he never let the big boppers of the Blue Jays get that backbreaking hit.
And once Kluber got his sealegs firmly underneath him, he was a pitching Picasso; painting the corners and further frustrating the free-swinging Jays.
With Kluber’s effort tonight, he placed himself in some pretty select company.
I’m not the sharpest knife in the block, but that’s pretty freakin’ good.
The Blue Jays’ Marco Estrada (8 INN/6 H/2 R/6 SO/1 BB) was the tough-luck loser tonight, going the distance for Toronto. Estrada gave up Lindor’s two-run shot in the sixth inning and little else. He flummoxed the Tribe lineup all evening long with his change-up even when the batters knew it was coming, but Estrada’s lone mistake of the night was the one that hurt the most. An amazing stat: This was the Blue Jays first complete game of the year.
Oh, and the Tribe’s bullpen? Overpowering as usual. Andrew Miller went an inning and two-thirds and struck out five. Cody Allen worked a clean ninth. One down, three to go. Game Two is tomorrow at 4 PM. Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians thanks to Trevor Bauer’s drone mishap. The Blue Jays will counter with 20-game winner JA Happ.
(Thanks to my colleague Ryan McCrystal for finding the above graphic.)
W: Corey Kluber; L: Marco Estrada; S: Cody Allen