Indians improve to 22-17
Corey Kluber was either the best pitcher ever to walk the earth or the worst thing to ever happen to sports, depending on when you tuned into tonight's game and who you follow on Twitter. I am going to be optimistic and go with the former, considering he did turn a rough two innings into another overall dominant outing against arguably the best offense in all of baseball.
Just about everyone in the deadly Boston Red Sox lineup did some damage to Kluber in those first two innings, whether it was a walk, an extra-base hit or even a bunt to advance a runner and give away a free out. David Ortiz, who is retiring after this season, drew a walk in the first inning but was shut down for the remainder of the evening, striking out twice and jogging his way to an out to end the eighth inning.
Things turned around for both Kluber and the Cleveland Indians offense in the third inning. Jason Kipnis kicked off the scoring, and continued his dominance in Fenway Park, with a three-run blast to right field that wrapped the foul poll to just avoid being a really disappointing strike. Three batters later, Jose Ramirez hit Francisco Lindor home with a sacrifice fly. It was honestly a run that Lindor had no business scoring on -- Jackie Bradley Jr. threw a perfect laser from right field -- but Lindor broke out his wonderful "swim" slide move to get around the tag at home. Diving head first into a fully armored catcher probably is not the smartest idea, but it worked well here.
The weirdest part of the game was undoubtedly Rajai Davis' hit-by-pitch that was actually a strikeout because Jim Joyce said so. A pitch from Clay Buchholz was in on the hands of Davis, who tried to check his swing. The ball ended up hitting him, and he was initially given a walk. However, the home plate umpire decided to check with first base umpire Jim Joyce, who decided that Rajai swung on the pitch. We know that Jim Joyce never gets a call wrong and is very humble about his mistakes (if he made any), but he was obviously wrong here. If Davis swung, he would have correctly been out -- if you get hit by a pitch when you swing with two strikes, it's still an out. However, Davis very obviously did not go all the way around, as you can see here.
Bryan Shaw, who has given up just two earned runs in his last 15 outings, kept the Sox off the board in the eighth, while Cody Allen shut it down with an 18-pitch ninth inning.
The big takeaway for the Indians in this game is that they were still good against a competent team. Kluber turned it around after a rough start, the offense failed to score 13 runs (what a buncha bums), but they still made a lot of good contact against real major league hitters. In a win against a team as good as Boston is playing right now.
Also, don't forget to check out the supermoon tomorrow. At least I think that's what Matt Underwood and Rick Manning were talking about when they came back from commercial in the middle of a conversation. Here's a preview of what you should be able to see out your window tomorrow:
But really, don't forget to check out the super moon tomorrow night pic.twitter.com/7sJHHCTA6T— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) May 21, 2016