Player of the Game
Zach Walters wasn’t expected to produce much this season after coming from the Nationals in exchange for Asdrubal Cabrera, but he has impressed early on. He hit his fourth home run as an Indian today (out of seven total hits), a solo shot that tied the game in the fifth. He hit just two home runs in his first 67 games with the Nationals this year, but has added four in just nine with the Tribe.
KKKKKKluber Watch: With his first three strike outs today, Kluber pushed past 200 on the season, making him the tenth different pitcher in Indians history to do so. Since Sam McDowell did so six times and Bob Feller five times, he is only ranked 21st in Indians history after a total of eight more today brought his single season number to 205. In doing so, he surpassed Dennis Eckersley (1976) and Bartolo Colon (2001) on the all time list as he looks to move into the top 20 in his next start, with C.C. Sabathia (2007) sitting just four ahead.
A bad fame by Corey Kluber would be a great game for just about any other human on Earth and today was one of those games. Kluber gave up his first home run since June 11th, although it was just a solo shot in the fourth. He also gave up more hits (6) and walks (four plus a hit batter) than normal, but was far more efficient than the rest of the Indians staff has been. He didn’t even strike out his normal ten today (something he has done eight times this year), but he still K’d eight. The real negative here is that Phil Hughes was even better, also giving up just a solo home run while pitching seven innings and striking out eight.
Kennys Vargas provided the spark for the Twins offense today and has already become a new pain for the Indians, playing in just his 19th career game. He hit the solo home run off Kluber, then added a double in the sixth that lead to another two runs. In his final at bat in the eighth he added an infield single as well as he proved almost impossible to retire. In his 19 games, he has already hit four home runs and knocked in 17 with two of those coming in this series.
Yan Gomes was pulled in the sixth inning with an undisclosed illness and replaced at catcher by Roberto Perez. Gomes has been the Indians second best hitter this season behind just Michael Brantley and his bat is greatly missed in the lineup when he is out. There was initial speculation that a ball that glanced off his mask the inning before was the reason for his departure, but that belief was ultimately dispelled.
The lack of offense and comparatively poor pitching by Kluber was enough to lose this game for the Indians, but they didn’t even get backing by their bullpen, a normal strength. Kyle Crockett came in to relieve Kluber in the eighth and gave up a single and a double without retiring a batter, making this his worst appearance in his career.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 1 – Minnesota Twins 4
On Deck: The Indians will head back home to play Houston for three starting with Carlos Carrasco and Brad Peacock facing off at 7:05 Friday night.