Kluber One Man Show in Tribe’s Series Loss to Mariners

Series Result: Indians lose series to Mariners 1-2

 
Game Results
Game 1: Seattle 5 Cleveland 2
Game 2: Cleveland 2 Seattle 0
Game 3: Seattle 6 Cleveland 5

Indians MVP
Corey Kluber
Kluber became the first AL pitcher ever to pitch consecutive starts facing 28 batters. Kluber was even better on Wednesday then when he was throwing a perfect game. Kluber pitched a complete game shutout, needed only 85 pitches to do it. Safe to say he is the Tribe’s ace.

Indians LVP
Chris Antonetti
Sure he was able to win both the Masterson and Cabrera trades, but it was what he didn’t do. The Tigers traded for David Price, Antonetti sat on his hands and didn’t bring in any help. The Indians will once again expect internal improvements to propel them to the playoffs.

Game 1: Bauer loses command, then Tribe loses game
Trevor Bauer had his worst start since July 2nd; Bauer was only able to go 4 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits, while only striking out 3. A start like this can be expected on occasion from Bauer, because he is still only 23 years old and trying to find his place in the MLB. However, this is one of Bauer’s few bad home starts. Bauer was able to hold the Mariners off the board for the first 3 innings, but never pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the top of the 4th, the Mariners finally broke through in a big way, thanks to a trio of doubles from Corey Hart, Dustin Ackley, and Chris Taylor, to give them an early 4-0 lead. In the top of the 5th, Bauer came back out and got Kyle Seager to pop out, then gave up a home run to Mike Zunino (16th on the season) to extend the Mariners lead to 5-0. With Hisashi Iwakuma pitching for the Mariners, it mays well have been a 10-run lead. The Indians made things a little interesting in the bottom of the 5th, when Yan Gomes (hitting .393 over his last 16 games) singled in Nick Swisher (5-for-10 in the series) and Jason Kipnis had a RBI groundout, to cut the lead to 5-2. Iwakuma settled down after the 5th, and was able to pitch 7 strong innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6, while walking 1. For the Indians, Nick Hagadone came on for relief of Trevor Bauer and was able to pitch 2 1/3 innings to help save the bullpen. This was a game that proved that the Indians have yet to put a complete game together; the bullpen pitched amazing, but the offense and starting pitching were lacking. The 5-2 Mariners lead would hold, and the Tribe fall 52-54.

Game 2: 85 pitches and we all go home
85 pitches was all it took for Corey Kluber to throw a complete game shutout. This game was expected to be a pitcher’s duel, with Felix Hernandez going for the Mariners and Kluber for the Tribe. King Felix actually broke the record for consecutive starts of 7 innings or more allowing 2 or less runs. He has now done it in 14 straight starts. However, this night belonged to Corey Kluber, as he was able to strike out 9 batters and improved his record to 11-6, lowering his ERA to 2.61. For the month of July, Kluber was 4-0 in 5 starts, with a 1.54 ERA, striking out 54, while walking only 4 batters in 41 innings. Kluber’s WAR is 4.5, which ranks him as 5th best pitcher in the MLB. Things got hairy for Seattle in the bottom of the 5th, when Hernandez walked Carlos Santana to lead off the inning, Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a double, and Nick Swisher singled to load the bases. After a David Murphy force out, Yan Gomes hit a double down the right field line, scoring Chisenhall and Swisher to give the Tribe a 2-0 lead. That would be all Kluber needed, as he gave not only the bullpen a rest, but himself a rest. The 85 pitches were Kluber’s lowest pitch total since June 10th, when he threw 78 pitches. On the night when the Indians traded former ace, Justin Masterson to St. Louis, they realized the top of the rotation wouldn’t miss a beat.

Game 3: Shaw gives up late home run, Tribe loses
The Tribe started this game with a rare feat, they scored first, and not only that, they did it in the 1st inning. A night after Hernandez and Kluber dueled to the death; this game was in need of some offense. Jason Kipnis got things going for the Indians, with a leadoff double, then moved to third on a Jose Ramirez sac bunt, before coming home on a Michael Brantley RBI single to give the Tribe an early 1-0 lead. Per the norm, Zach McAllister gave that run right back in the top of the 2nd, on a Logan Morrison sac fly. If McAllister is trying to win a spot in the rotation, this game sure did not help his case. McAllister went 3 1/3 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, while striking out none. In his last 6 starts McAllister has an ERA of 9.78, compare that to his first 8 starts when he posted a 3.89 ERA and I think it is safe to say that McAllister has lost all control and confidence in his pitches. If only we could have addressed this issue at the trade deadline. In the top of the 3rd, McAllister gave up a 2-run home run to Dustin Ackley and a RBI double to Robinson Cano, which gave the Mariners a 4-1 lead. Luckily for McAllister, the Tribe offense was able to get him off the hook in the next frame, with a Jason Kipnis 2-run homer and a Carlos Santana sac fly, which tied the game. The early scoring then ceased until the bottom of the 7th, when Carlos Santana beat the shift and singled home Jose Ramirez to give the Tribe a 5-4 lead. Things looked like the Tribe would be able to score a few more runs in the inning, as they loaded the bases, but David Murphy weakly grounded out to end the chance of breaking the game open. The celebration was short lived, as Bryan Shaw gave up the go-ahead home run to Mike Zunino, as the Mariners retook the lead at 6-5. Brandon Maurer breezed through the Tribe in the 8th, and Fernando Rodney shot his arrow (I really do hate that man) with his 30th save in the 9th. One word: disappointing.

Up Next: The Tribe continue their homestand against the worst team in the MLB, with 3 games against the Texas Rangers

–Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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