Roster Update: Prior to the game, the Indians finally made a trade deadline move, although it may not have been the one the fans wanted. Justin Masterson was sent to St. Louis (as soon as he’s off the DL) in exchange for AA outfielder, James Ramsey, a player considered the Cardinals sixth best prospect and immediately becoming the Indians fifth best.
Player of the Game
Corey Kluber did a few things that are rarely seen in baseball, not the least of which was throwing a complete game shut out. Because of unearned runs, it was just his first of the season, although he has had two already where he allowed no earned runs in nine innings. In addition to that, he faced just one over the minimum, aided by two double plays on three hits and no walks. Kluber was a strike machine, throwing just 16 balls in his 85 pitches for the entire game. Kluber earned his 11th win of the season and dropped his already impressive ERA to 2.61.
In addition to great pitching, the Indians had both other things a team needs to beat a superstar, former and future Cy Young award winner like King Felix Hernandez, defense and timely hitting. First on the defense, the Indians committed no errors (almost as impressive as a complete game for this team) and actually made some spectacular plays. Both double plays turned were not of the traditional variety, with Carlos Santana making a great snag, tagging first and throwing to second for the first and Lonnie Chisenhall making an outstanding throw, completed by Jason Kipnis on the second. The best play of all was a tremendous diving play by Chris Dickerson in left, coming in to rob Seattle of one of the few hits they had a chance at.
The clutch hitting may have been even more important as it is almost impossible to string together multiple hits against Hernandez, but he does walk a few batters per game. In the fifth, Carlos Santana (the league leader in walks) took his base to lead off the inning. He probably should have scored on a gap double by Lonnie Chisenhall, but the game remained tied with runners at second and third. Nick Swisher grounded between first and second and Santana still remained at third, although Swisher was safe at first when Hernandez didn’t cover the base. After another grounder to the right side saw Santana forced out at home, it looked like Cleveland may not be able to score, but Yan Gomes ripped a double down the right field line, bringing home Chisenhall and Swisher. Another runner was thrown out at the plate on a Dickerson fielder’s choice and Kipnis finished things off with a strike out. If it hadn’t been for Gomes, this game could have gone to extra innings as Kluber’s last did.
KKKKKKKKluber K Watch: Despite throwing just 85 pitches, Kluber still managed to strike out eight. With that, he now has 170 K’s on the season, moving from 57th in franchise history to 42nd in single season strike outs. He is now tied with Bob Lemon’s 1950 season, Bert Blyleven’s 1984 and Cliff Lee’s 2008 Cy Young winning campaign. Each of these other pitchers had already started at least 30 games and won at least 19. Kluber has started 23 and won 11. Assuming he makes every start for the reason of the season (11), he is on pace for at least 258 and tenth in franchise history.
The entire Indians team wore high socks in support of their traded teammate Justin Masterson. While on a personnel level, the move makes sense, on a personal level it is always hard to see a friend traded. It was great to see the team show support for their traded comrade.
The only negative of the this fantastic game was that it overshadowed the efforts of Tyler Cloyd. In Columbus, Cloyd kept a perfect game going into the ninth inning, throwing a no hitter in the end. He hit just one batter against Louisville and induced a double play immediately after to face the minimum in the complete game shut out.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Seattle Mariners 0
On Deck: The Indians will finish up the series against Seattle on the final day of the month with more trades expected throughout the day. Chris Young and Zach McAllister will start the game that begins at 7:05 PM.