Cleveland Indians fans saw Corey Kluber be average Friday night and it was an odd sight to see after his recent stretch of dominance.
That’s not what happened.
Kluber ended up throwing only 65 pitches in five innings of work before being taken out of the game. He also allowed four earned runs on four hits, striking out only three batters and giving up two home runs.
This line would not be terrible for other pitchers. In fact, it would be considered a decent performance to log five innings and only give up four runs. But when Kluber does it, the surprise factor is real.
This was the first time Kluber has failed to go at least six innings in a start this season. The four earned runs were also a new high, while his three strikeouts were a new low. The same goes for his 65 pitches.
Fans may have thought he was hurt but instead it just seems like the ace had an off night. That is going to happen every so often. No one can be perfect forever.
The good news is that this shocking outing from Kluber was a game in which he allowed four earned runs. That is not really alarming at all when taking away the lofty expectations surrounding Kluber every time he takes the mound.
The reason the outing seemed worse was because Kluber was pulled after five innings. Yet there was no reason to leave him out there if he was clearly struggling. Also, five innings from a starter is still a good thing for any manager.
This start from Kluber should quickly become an afterthought as the season rolls on and it may even seem outrageous to look back and think four runs was enough to cause some small amounts of panic.