Player of the Game
While he couldn’t quite match Dan Haren, Corey Kluber was fantastic again tonight, striking out five while allowing just a single earned run in 6.2 innings. He gave up just six hits to the Dodgers normally explosive offense and his only walk was intentional. After a slow start to June, Kluber has now allowed just five total runs during his last four starts.
Fans of pitching must have loved watching the Indians over the past week. In addition to two one hitters in the final two games in Seattle, Corey Kluber has been electric twice and Dan Haren was pretty good himself tonight. Legitimately, each team had just one good scoring chance during the first six innings and neither came through. For the Indians, it was the third when David Murphy walked, then was sacrificed to second with the second out of the inning. Michael Bourn kept things going with an infield single (it was called an out initially, reviewed and overturned), then stole second before Asdrubal Cabrera ended the inning by striking out. The Dodgers best chance came an inning later, when Adrien Gonzales singled and Matt Kemp doubled him to third. Kluber struck out Andre Ethier and popped up Juan Uribe to keep the game scoreless. It wasn’t until two outs in the seventh inning when Clint Robinson hit his first MLB hit to score the first run of the game for LA.
Milestone Tracker: While not quite a milestone in itself, we will continuing keeping a close eye on Corey Kluber’s amazing season. Just half way through the year, Kluber’s 127 strike outs already rank as the 140th most in a single season in Indians history. While this may not seem impressive as that is more than one pitcher per season, Kluber has reached that number in just 82 games. Assuming he gets the same amount of starts in the second half, he would be on pace for 252, which would place him ninth all time in Cleveland history.
While he would never be compared to Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis has always had a fairly good eye at the plate, but that seems to have disappeared as of late. He struck out looking in each of his first three at bats tonight in addition to two strike outs yesterday in part of a larger 0-9. Kipnis has been slumping for some time, but this is the first time he has looked to be apathetic about the situation.
Crediting the opposing starting pitcher can only go so far. While Felix Hernandez was nigh unhittable last night, Haren was no where near as good as far as location and movement are concerned tonight. Despite this, the Indians were still able to muster just a single hit, an infield single by Bourn that was overturned. The only other baserunner all game was Murphy, who walked. Yes, the Indians are in the midst of a very difficult stretch of opposing starters, but if they want to win the division and eventually a World Series, they will have to find a way to score against very good pitchers. This was the first time in franchise history that the Cleveland Indians were one hit in back to back games.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 0 – Los Angeles Dodgers of Chavez Ravine 1
On Deck: Early birds rejoice as the Indians will play their final game with a start time after 8:30 PM this year as the Tribe and Dodgers will start at 10:10 PM ET.