Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber had a bad game, but with such little run support in his outing–it really wouldn’t have mattered.
The Cleveland Indians game on Sunday was over before it started. Corey Kluber surrendered three in the first inning, then four more in the second and the Tribe were down 6-0 in the blink of an eye. To Kluber’s credit, he rallied from there and shut down the New York Mets to survive six innings in the loss. But here’s the damnedest thing–it would have mattered if he pitched well.
Recently I posed the question if Terry Francona was afraid to use his bullpen as he likely left Kluber out for one inning too many in his last loss. Kluber doomed himself with his poor start on Sunday but recovered to save said bullpen from more innings.
One of the more telling comments to come after this game was this one:
"“That says a lot about Kluber,” Indians center fielder Rajai Davis said. “He was solid the rest of the innings that he pitched. It was unfortunate that it had to turn out this way for him, but this is the game of baseball, and sometimes we don’t have control over these things.”"
No Davis, he didn’t. But you did. Two fly balls lost in the sun by Davis as well as a missed pop foul by Yan Gomes weren’t deemed errors. The misfire by Kluber on a tough bunt play by Asdrubal Cabrera was. Kluber was penalized for Davis’ inability to perform an everyday task–catch fly balls.
But I digress. Had Kluber fired nine shutout innings, it would have been for naught. Because once again with Kluber on the mound the Indians completely forget how to hit a baseball–and now catching it has become a problem. Last season Kluber got just 3.3 runs per game. Could it get worse? You betcha. So far this season it’s a paltry 1.5 per game.
In Kluber’s last outing I saw a pitcher who was trying to control his own destiny thanks to a poor offense. This game, well, it’s not like the offense has rushed to his aide recently. After winning the Cy Young in 2014, Kluber finished ninth in the voting last year. NINTH. He was 9-19 for goodness sakes. What this says is that not many expect the Indians to score, but we’ll forgive the pitching.
Things are shaping up to be eerily similar to last year for the Indians, and especially Kluber.