I’ve had the pleasure1of recapping several of Corey Kluber’s starts this season. For nearly six innings tonight, it was his best start of the season by far as he held the potent White Sox offense in check. But, those pesky pale hosers broke through with two outs in the sixth and struck for four runs. The Tribe had no answer for that, mustering just two hits of their own, as they went on to lose this final series opener 11-0.
Kluber had command early in this game and navigated through the first five innings allowing just two hits while walking one and striking out five. His changeup was effective, and in addition to the K’s, he was jamming the White Sox for lots of easy grounders and shallow fly balls. In the first five, his biggest threat was in the second when he surrendered two leadoff singles and a passed ball by Santana moved up the runners. Then came the sixth.
In the momentum shifting sixth, Kluber retired Gordon Beckham on a groundout before Dewayne Wise bunted his way on base. Kluber bounced back to strike out Kevin Youkilis before squaring off with Adam Dunn. During Dunn’s AB, the Tribe battery tried to keep tabs on Wise, owner of 17 steals in 98 games. But, when Wise took off on a 1-1 count, Santana’s throw was too late and to the wrong side of the bag.2 Of course, Dunn made them pay as he took a vanilla 91 mph slider with too much of the plate and served it into center to break the scoreless tie. After a Paul Konerko walk, Alex Rios followed that up by banging one high off the left field wall, plating Dunn and dispatching of Kluber. Joe Smith then gave up a pair of singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo before recording the final out of the inning. [Read more...]