Kluber looks to close out dominant pitching series vs. Rays
Pitching will undoubtedly be the talk of the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays finale. Can Corey Kluber (3-9, 3.66) follow suit and make it four dominant performances by the Tribe starters? Or will the Rays’ Matt Moore (0-0, 0.00), making his first start in 451 days after recovering from Tommy John surgery spoil the sweep?
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The Indians (36-41) have had just about everything go their way in this series, a far cry from the previous series against the Orioles in which they may have hit rock bottom–or close enough for Terry Francona. His pre-game closed-door meeting seems to have ignited the offense, which is great since they’ve been near non-existent in Kluber’s starts.
For Kluber, it will be a battle of averages. His career numbers against the Rays (42-38) have been good (2-1, 2.28 in four starts), but away from home this season he’s struggled to the tune of a 1-5 record with a 4.00 ERA. The timing of catching this Rays team while they’re struggling and the Indians’ bats being hot couldn’t be any better for Kluber.
The Rays’ Moore was an All-Star in 2013 with a 17-4 record and a 3.29 ERA. He was one of 26 pitchers to have Tommy John surgery in 2014, something becoming more and more common as the years go by.
The Indians have lost in 13 of 16 when Kluber starts, with run-support being the critical issue in those games. On a three-game tear, hopefully, they can make it one more today.
First pitch is slated for 12:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. SportsTime Ohio has the TV coverage and WTAM 1100 will have the radio broadcast.
Here are the lineups for today’s series finale: