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Cleveland Indians: 3 takeaways from Kluber’s 19th win of the year

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians continue to make easy work of the Chicago White Sox, in what was a quick deciding win on Tuesday’s series opener.

I know what you’re thinking, now that the Cleveland Indians have clinched the division, some of these wins may not seem like much fun. Well, if you watched Tuesday night’s outing against the White Sox you’d know that statement is completely wrong.

There is plenty of fun in watching the Indians offense jump all over a pitcher who has had their number all season. It’s even more fun watching the Indians ace, absolutely dominate the White Sox once again. So with that in mind, here are the takeaways from an enjoyable victory in Cleveland.

Kluber gets win number 19

For the first time in the career of Corey Kluber, he has earned 19 wins. It feels a little strange to think about that considering Kluber has two Cy Young Awards. In his Cy Young seasons, Kluber only won 18 games. Despite reaching this milestone, Kluber’s Cy Young case is not as strong as it’s been in previous seasons.

September has been the worst month of the year for Kluber, so seeing him rebound from his previous bad outing with a strong performance here will certainly help his case. His final numbers on the night were 11 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, and he worked 8 innings. For Kluber, it was his sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season. That put him in the 200+ strikeout club with teammates Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer.

Bottom of the order production

Normally when you see this loaded Tribe offense, you assume the production will come from the likes of Jose Ramirez or Francisco Lindor. But recently the Indians are getting a good bit of production from the bottom of the order.

Yan Gomes has been dynamite over the last week, and that continued today as he tacked on another RBI from the eight hole. He’s now batting .375 over the last week. Jason Kipnis also continues his hot play, as he hit the lone home run for the Indians. Ideally, the Indians would like to get production from everyone in the lineup, but it’s encouraging to see the guys in the bottom of the order bring some offensive production.

Versatile closer role

By now, everyone knows about the big guns in the Indians bullpen. Brad Hand, Cody Allen, and Andrew Miller can create a nightmare for any team that plays the Tribe. The beautiful thing about having these three is that each of them can be the closer for the Indians.

In the last week, we’ve seen all three of them come in to close games and tonight was no different. Andrew Miller was lights-out in his one inning of work, recording three strikeouts and allowing just one base-runner (the runner reached on a strikeout in the dirt). It’s hard to expect the kind of filth from Miller that we saw in 2016, but that’s why the team has Hand, Allen, and even Oliver Perez.

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While the Indians bullpen still ranks among the bottom in the majors, a lot of that is weighted heavily on the horrible inconsistencies they had for the first half of 2018. With the crew they have going into the playoffs, no one should worry about the Indians bullpen… unless you’re a fan of the opposition.