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Corey Kluber just misses shutout in dominant win over White Sox

In which the Klubot puts my mind at ease...

Jason Miller

Game 140: Indians 3, White Sox 1

Box Score

Tribe improves to 73-67

Earlier this week I wrote that I was worried about Corey Kluber. It wasn't in a, "Oh my gosh, he's no good anymore" kind of way, just in a "It seems like maybe he's running out of gas" kind of way. Well, it seems he found time to refuel, because tonight he was awesome again.

Kluber pitched his third complete game of the season, and it would have been his second shutout if not for an error by Jesus Aguilar, who was playing first base so that Carlos Santana could DH. Kluber struck out 8, and now has 223 strikeouts this season, the most by any Indians pitcher since Gaylord Perry in 1973. Kluber also issued no free passes, making this his 6th game of the season with 8+ Ks and 0 walks, the most such games in a season by any pitcher in franchise history.

Given the effect my words on Kluber seem to have had of late, I'm going to refrain from saying anything else nice about him here.

After Aguilar's error put the Indians behind 1-0, the man who should have been playing first base hit his 25th home run of the season, tying the game. Barring an incredible finish from someone else, Santana is going to lead the team in home runs for the 3rd time in the last 4 years. He's also on track to lead the league in walks (he drew his 99th tonight). He'd be only the fifth player in franchise history to do that, and could be the first Indian to lead MLB since 1919.

Though the Tribe scored just the three runs, Carlos wasn't the only hitter who had a good night. Jose Ramirez had 3 hits, as he continues his strong second half, and Michael Brantley has 3 of them too, giving him 168 for the season and raising his average to .315, 6th in the American League.

Kansas City and Detroit both lost today, so the Indians are now 5 games back of the Royals (and they're three outs away from picking up another game on them when they resumed the suspended game in a couple weeks), and just 3 games back of the Tigers. (The Tribe could be ahead of them right now if they'd managed to win the two very winnable losses they suffered against Detroit this week. Sigh...) As I write this the Mariners are tied, with the Indians 4 games behind them for the second Wild Card spot. Getting into the playoffs remains a tall order, but the last 48 hours have kept it plausible.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

Total comments: 216

Total commenters: 22

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