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Kluber spectacular again in 5-2 victory over Yankees

The sky has (momentarily) stopped falling!

This was way more fun than what the other guys were doing.
This was way more fun than what the other guys were doing.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Indians 5, Yankees 2

Box Score

Indians improve to 62-46


Since the calendar flipped to August, the Cleveland Indians have been desperately searching for some starting pitching. The best performance (prior to today) came on Thursday when Mike Clevinger went 4.1 innings and only gave up 2 runs. It's been said from the beginning of the season that this team will live and die by it's starting pitching. Well, after the worst run of starting pitching since the 1980s, Corey Kluber showed up and breathed some life into the team by going eight dominant innings in the Tribe's 5-2 victory.

Kluber started off the game in truly brilliant fashion, needing only 6 pitches to get through the first inning. The second inning, however, proved to be much more laborious. After a mistake pitch to Gary Sanchez and a wild pitch, the Indians found themselves in a 2-0 hole going into the third inning, which brought about the all too familiar feeling that a huge inning from the opposition was right around the corner. In the game thread, I proclaimed that, if Kluber could keep the deficit at 2 runs, this game was winnable because the offense, in the same time that the starters have been dreadful, has been explosive. Kluber did much more than that, striking out 8 and only walking 1 along the way. My favorite strikeout of  the day for Kluber came in the fifth when he got Ronald Torreyes to swing and miss on nasty curveball:

Sheer perfection. Kluber didn't throw a single pitch in the zone, but his breaking pitches were so good that Torreyes thought they were. Thankfully, Kluber stepped up and shut the Yankees out for the rest of the game and gave the offense a chance to take a lead and never look back.

The Indians began chipping away at the lead in the fourth when Jason Kipnis hit a bomb to right center field. This home run marked Kip's 19th on the season; his previous single season best was 17. AND it came off of a left handed pitcher.  Rosey mentioned on the broadcast that, despite Kip being an All-Star in both 2013 and 2015, this may be his most consistent season yet, and I'd have to agree with him. The Tribe threatened to tie up the game in that same inning, but Jose Ramirez grounded into an inning ending double play with two on and one out.

Rajai Davis continued to make me look foolish for saying that he will eventually be terrible by tying up the game in the fifth inning with a seeing eye single through the left side of the infield to score Abraham Almonte. Speaking of Almonte, he has quietly started being incredible for the Tribe since his return to the roster and subsequent slow start. Coming into today's game, he was slashing .294/.309/.490. In addition to his offensive output, he made a heads up play in the bottom of the sixth to double up Brett Gardner, who had ran all the way to 3B on a routine flyout to RF for some reason.

Kipnis was not the only one to hit a home run today; Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis also joined in on hosting duties for the party at Napoli's. Mike Napoli's home run was fantastic. In the top of the 6th, CC Sabathia got behind in the count 3-0 and threw what should have been called ball 4. The umpire gifted Sabathia a strike to extend the at-bat. As I was typing my disapproval of the events in the game thread, the next pitch was promptly deposited into the bleachers in right center field to give the Indians a lead that they would not relinquish.

Thanks ump!

Davis roped a line drive home run to left field in the 7th to add an insurance run, and Kipnis added another RBI to his season total in the 9th to put the game well out of reach. With Kluber already at 100 pitches and the back end of the bullpen rested, Tito called on former Yankee Andrew Miller to close out the game. And close it out he did. Miller got his former teammates Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira to strike out swinging before inducing a ground ball by Brian McCann to end the game. If this is what we have to look forward to out of the bullpen for the next few seasons, count me in.

With today's win and the Tigers yet to begin their game, the Tribe sits at 2.5 games up in the AL Central. It would be great if Logan Verrett & Co. can put a stop to the Tigers today to help start the process of rebuilding Cleveland's AL Central lead. Tomorrow, Cleveland goes for the series victory as new American Carlos Carrasco faces off against the Yankees ace, Masahiro Tanaka in day baseball.