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Corey Kluber ends 2015 on a high note with 9-strikeout performance against Red Sox

...and some help from Carlos Santana.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Indians 2, Red Sawx 0

Box Score

Indians advance to 80-80


Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber wanted to end his season on a high note and he did just that. After a hamstring injury sidelined him for a week and three straight sub-par outings dragged down his season averages, Cleveland’s ace concluded 2015 with a dominant outing that saw him go eight innings and allow zero runs on only three hits. That’ll do, cyborg. That’ll do.

It was not an ideal night for baseball by any means. The game itself was delayed a full half hour due to lingering storms, and the middle innings of the contest saw infrequent showers. It was cold, it was wet, it was just a miserable night to be playing sports. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was sitting here on my nice warm couch under a soft blanket watching it all unfold but they sure did look uncomfortable out there by the time I was headed out to the kitchen to get my second fresh cup of coffee.

Whether it was due to the weather or just the Indians offense being the Indians offense, Tribe bats did not do a whole to help Kluber. It is a story we have heard several times this season: Robotic pitching machine throws gem, offense does nothing for him. This time, however, they managed to do just enough to get Kluber a rare "win." Carlos Santana and Ryan Raburn both hit long shots into the bleachers, and Jason Kipnis racked up another hit. Kip now has at least one hit in 12 of his last 14 games, dating back to September 16.

Craig Breslow, a 35-year-old career reliever making the second start of his 10 years in the Majors, completely shut down the rest of the Indians offense. Through five innings, Tribe batters amassed only five hits and strike out twice against Breslow. I would say I am surprised that the 2015 Indians offense was so handily put down by someone with a career ERA just shy of 5.00, but I would be lying.

But fear not, it was not just former relief pitchers with sky high ERAs that shut down the Indians tonight, no. Current relief pitchers with sky high ERAs also had their shots at making everyone not named Carlos Santana look silly tonight. Matt Barnes and his career 5.33 ERA had a bit of trouble with Yan gomes and Giovanny Urshela in the sixth inning but came out unscathed.

Maybe my favorite thing to come out this game was the laziest Keys to the Game ever. Finding different ways to say "score more runs than your opponent" for 162 is difficult, I get that, but today the key was just "Get run support for Corey Kluber." It’s like they are not even trying to hide the fact that they are beyond done with coming up with things. If tomorrow’s keys are anything short of "get guy over plate win game" it will be a disappointment.

The series -- and the season -- ends tomorrow when the Indians take on the Red Sox at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

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