(NOTE: Apologies for the recap being so late. My Wi-Fi went AWOL on me about 15 minutes after last night’s magic and I just now got it back coming up 12 hours later. But here it is!)
We’re running out of things to say about the brilliance of Corey Kluber (CG/3 H/1 ER/11 SO).
The guy gave up a leadoff homer to Charlie Blackmon on the second pitch of the game. All that did was annoy him. He then proceeded to go all nine. The Rockies never had a runner past second base the rest of the evening.
The only problem is that the Indians, offensively, did extremely little. Rockies’ starter German Marquez (6 INN/3 H/3 BB) opened up a lot of eyes with his electric stuff that looked a heck of a lot like the Yankees’ Luis Severino who ate up the Tribe on Sunday. Then the Rockies managed to wiggle out of some jams (none bigger than Mark Reynolds‘ robbery of Abraham Almonte, that certainly would’ve tied the game earlier). It just felt like for all the world that it just wasn’t going to be the Indians’ night.
That is, until the combined heroics of Edwin Encarnacion and Bradley Zimmer who drew two-out walks. Austin Jackson, would fight Rockies’ closer Greg Holland tooth and nail until he blooped in the tying run, thanks in large part to the Rockies being in “no doubles” defense. Yan Gomes would then rifle Holland’s next pitch –his final pitch– just barely over the railing atop the Mini Monster, shocking the Rockies in a blink and sending Progressive Field into a delirious frenzy.
Mr. Hamilton, if you’d please.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 9, 2017
Baseball, sometimes you’re stupid. And sometimes, you are glorious beyond comprehension.
But none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for Kluber doing what he does so often: He never gives in. He never gets rattled or frustrated. He more often than not keeps his team afloat to win, and he is a master at his craft. He is an absolute joy to behold because he makes it look so unbelievably easy. Speaking for myself, he has overtaken CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee as the greatest pitchers that the Indians have ever had in my 30-some years of watching. All those great hitting teams, who could never find the true “ace” to turn to in the ’90s through the early ’00s, they would’ve been able to reach the mountaintop if he were on those teams.
He could very well lose the AL Cy Young because he missed a month of action due to his balky back, but Kluber is as close to a perfect pitcher as a team could hope to have. And I’m sure glad he’s on my team.
EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS: The Cardinals beat the Royals again by a score of 10-3. The Indians lead the AL Central by a season-high four games.
Trevor Bauer will take to the hill tomorrow at high noon as the Tribe tries to carry tonight’s momentum over for a two game sweep.
W: Corey Kluber (10-3); L: Greg Holland (2-3)