A sweet sweep and an impending Independence Day celebration... It doesn't get much better than that, folks. Have a look at some baseball happenings before you temporarily blind yourselves with semi-legal fireworks:
Yesterday's game: Indians 5, Rays 4
Corey Kluber didn't even flirt with a perfect game, like a loser, but somehow kept the Indians in it despite striking out a measly 14 batters. Scrub. As usual, it came down to elite Tribe star Mike Aviles saving our hides in extra innings.
- LGT recap (Andrew Kinsman)
- Cleveland.com recap (Paul Hoynes)
- Indians.com recap (Jordan Bastian & Troy Provost-Heron)
Indians news & notes
Record aside, Kluber worthy of All-Star Game | Indians.com - He may not be the dominant Cyborg Young candidate he was last year, but Corey Kluber is still among the league leaders in several keys categories. It won't come as a shock to anyone here that he's had some truly unlucky run support numbers. Klubot is self-aware that his traditional stat line is not ASG-worthy, what with a 3-9 record and a 3.66 ERA. But the dude is tied for the MLB lead in K's and third in fWAR. That has to count for something, right?
No no-no: the much attempted and much eluded Indians no-hitter | Burning River Baseball - Carlos Carrasco came painfully close to the no-hitter Wednesday, but he's not the only one that has tasted baseball immortality in recent Indians history. Since Len Barker's perfecto in 1981, Indians legends like Billy Traber and Josh Tomlin have flirted with no-hitters but left us with no lasting memories other than "what if?"
Carrasco reminds us that prospects can take a while | Fox Sports MLB - Who here has, at one time or another, lamented Carlos Carrasco as a weak return for the Cliff Lee trade? My hand is raised. Rob Neyer reminds us that sometimes, good things take some time to blossom. I'm happily eating my words now.
Two Carlos Carrascos in two weeks | FanGraphs - Cookie faced the same Rays lineup twice in a span of two weeks. The first time resulted in an early exit after giving up ten hits. The second, well, we all no what happened. So what was the difference? FG looks at heat maps of Carlos' pitch locations to try to figure it out.
Five RBI night boosts Moss' confidence | Indians.com - Lost in the shuffle of Carrasco's no-no bid Wednesday was a strong showing by Brandon Moss - 5 RBIs, including a moonshot three-run homer. Moss hasn't lit the world on fire this season, but that game may have given him the confidence he needs to carry on his solid play as of late.
Danny Salazar trying to piece together perfection | Cleveland.com - The Dzar reflects on what he sees as basically two perfect games over the course of three total. Hoynsie adds some statistical tidbits of his own, as well as more notes on Moss' big game Wednesday.
Tidbits from around baseball
- Fangraphs takes a look at the fascinating phenomenon of the "rising" submarine pitch
- FG also examines Chris Sale's historic streak of striking out at least ten batters in eight straight games. (Too bad Sale is still only tied with Kluber for the MLB lead in strikeouts this season. #suckit)
- The Cardinals have fired their scouting director, likely in connection with the Astros hacking scandal.
- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez returned from Tommy John surgery, and promptly hit a homer as a welcome back gift.
- Bryce Harper is down to 8% body fat, and says his body feels incredible.
- On the other side of the coin, Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel broke a Citizen's Bank Ballpark record by eating 23 cheesesteaks during a four-game series.
- Lastly, the Orioles have signed LG(away)FT Chris Perez, who is currently serving a 50-game suspension.