Tribe win fifth straight, Kluber rolling
Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Indians are winning. And I don’t mean that in a satirical, anti-fan sort of sense.
the Reds 2-1, the Tribe has won their fifth-straight game, and they now boast a record of 19-23, which may not be great, but it’s an improvement. As of the time of this writing, that record is good enough to put the Tribe in striking distant of the Wild Card spot.
Yesterday’s game very nearly went the other way. Striking out seven batters and allowing one run, Kluber dominated the Reds. He lowered his season ERA to 3.79, although his 2.35 FIP suggests that he should be even better. Although it has been less publicized than other pitchers, the right-handers season has been spectacular. With 11.09 strikeouts per nine – which is second best in the American League behind teammate Danny Salazar – and a league-leading FIP and WAR, Kluber could very well be chosen to start the All-Star Game for the American League.
On the offensive front, Jason Kipnis nudged the Tribe ahead of the Reds with a double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kipnis, whom the Indians inked to a $52.5 million deal before last season, has played incredibly well this season. After getting off to a bit of a slow start, the left-handed batter has swung his way to a .337/.406/.503 slash line and a 158 wRC+. All this production is good enough for a 2.2 fWAR, the second best for all second basemen. What is perhaps the most surprising aspect of Kipnis’s performance is his fielding. Through 362 innings at second base, Kipnis has posted a positive DRS and URZ for the first time since 2012, although his .988 fielding percentage leaves some to be desired.
More from around the AL Central:
Cleveland Indians Win Fifth-Straight behind Kluber, Kipnis – Wahoo’s on First
Tigers Finally Get It Right With Victor Martinez – Motor City Bengals
Chris Young Has Earned a Rotation Spot – Kings of Kauffman