If you haven’t noticed, the Indians have been sporting their navy blue jerseys for the past six games. This wasn’t by accident, as the team decided to wear the jerseys with regards to superstition, hoping to keep their recent offensive outburst alive and well. Unfortunately, Terry Francona and company couldn’t extend the streak, as the Tribe fell to the Twins Sunday afternoon, 4-2.
Cleveland turned to Corey Kluber for today’s start while Brett Myers continues his time on the disabled list with a right elbow injury. Taking the mound for Minnesota was former first round pick, Mike Pelfrey. Kluber ran into trouble early in the game when Trevor Plouffe belted a two-run homer in the second. Plouffe seemed to enjoy the series against the Indians, as his homer was the second of the series. The Indians would not be able to return the favor until the fourth inning when Mark Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to score Asdrubal Cabrera. Compared to what fans have been used to the past six games offensively, this game was hard to watch. Pelfrey pitched well for the Twins, striking out seven batters. The only other run that the Indians scored came from Carlos Santana’s homerun in the ninth inning. Kluber would run into trouble again in the 6th where he gave up a bases loaded single to Justin Morneau. Instead of getting rattled, Kluber showed poise in this situation by striking out Chris Parmelee following the RBI single by Morneau. Even with the offense sputtering, the starting pitching left a good impression with me.
Overall, Kluber had a solid outing. Aside from the homerun by Plouffe, Kluber pitched effectively and gave Cleveland a chance to win. With so many questions surrounding this team’s starting pitching, it was nice to see a lesser-known name pitch well. Over the past 7 games, the Indian’s starting rotation has compiled a 2.84 ERA. It’s no obviously no coincidence that when Cleveland pitches this well, the team will win games. Yes, the offense lit up the scoreboard during this streak, but in order for the Indians to have sustained success, the starting pitching needs to have consistency.
-It will be nice to have Michael Bourn back in the lineup soon. He will begin his rehab assignment in the minors with the Columbus Clippers.
-Ryan Raburn continues to impress as he had two hits. Having Raburn and Aviles as utility men has been a luxury for the Tribe.
-Just called up from the minors, Scott Barnes was effective as he pitched 2 innings and had 4 strikeouts.