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Weak Indians offense can't overcome one bad Corey Kluber inning

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A game-ending check swing dribble-out pretty well encapsulates the feel of this one

MLB: Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Astros 4, Indians 3

Box score

Indians fall to 78-57

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This game just wasn’t all that fun to watch. The Indians threatened another dramatic comeback in the 9th that fell short, and the eight innings before that were an exercise in how to visually induce vomiting. Klubot dominated for six innings, but it was his one Tomlin-esque inning that did the Tribe in.

I feel like I’ve had a lot of Josh Tomlin starts inflicted on me on my recap days lately. Watching a pitcher walk two dudes in a row and give up a three-run homer on an 0-2 count wouldn’t typically phase me, but the fact that Corey Kluber did it was enough to elicit a thorough eyebrow raise. After cruising through the 1st in nine pitches, Kluber got two outs in the 2nd before walking Evin Gattis and Colby Rasmus. With an 0-2 count, the Klubot malfunctioned and Marwin Gonzalez took him yard. According to Jordan Bastian, that was the first time in an MLB-high 193 batters that Kluber gave up an 0-2 homer (sadface.exe).

The Astros tacked on a fourth run in the 3rd inning when George Spinger hit a leadoff double and Lonnie Chisenhall misplayed an Alex Bergman liner, turning it into an RBI triple. That was the entirety of the scoring for Houston tonight, as Kluber would go on to dominate in throughout the rest of the game. He retired the last ten batters he faced, and struck out nine on the way. The Detach, Shawn Armstrong, and Kyle Crockett combined for two shutout innings in relief of Kluber. If only the Tribe offense had an average game, we might’ve won this thing. Unfortunately, they shot themselves in their collective feet myriad times over the course of nine innings.

Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis got the game started right with a single and double respectively. This set up an ideal 2nd & 3rd with no outs situation, which the Tribe’s 3-4-5 hitters squandered with three straight fly outs. This was understandable, since they were facing 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel. No, scratch that - they were facing some dude literally named Peacock. So whatever. The whole team was trash in general, but the middle of the lineup put together a particularly brutal 1-12.

Nonetheless, the Indians are the Indians and wouldn’t completely go down without a fight. The scraped together a run in the 3rd with an ugly double, fly out, and ground out combo. Lando Carlossian took his 29th trip to Cloud City in the 8th, putting the Tribe within two runs. Jose Ramirez kicked off the 9th in promising fashion with a single and scored for reasons almost completely out of his control. The Houston battery very nearly blew the game for them courtesy of several defensive miscues.

The Hamster advanced to 2nd on a lazy passed ball courtesy of Evan Gattis. Closer Ken Giles struck out Lonnie Chisenhall but then uncorked a wild pitch allowing J-Ram to advance to 3rd. After a walk to Coco Crisp, Crisp attempted to steal 2nd and Gattis chunked the ball into centre field, allowing Ramirez to score easily. Tyler Naquin succumbed to high fastballs with a lame fly out but with two down, Brandon Guyer stepped up to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Guyer pathetically hit a check swing dribbler on a 1-0 ball, ending any chance the Indians had for another dramatic win.

As far as losses go, there have certainly been worse, but this is one of those games that leaves you with a nagging feeling of "we should’ve had that." Instead, all we can do is sit and watch the scoreboard. The White Sox lead the Tigers 2-0 at the time of this writing.