Corey Kluber in Chicago to take on Jose Quintana… a clear recipe for a 1-0 ballgame. Quintana gives up very few runs and never gets any support from his offense. And this time, his offense had to face a former Cy Young winner who almost single-handedly bumgarnered his team a world championship a few months earlier.
Quintana had the added misfortune of having to face a star who loves playing in his hometown, as Yandy Diaz was sent to AAA earlier in the day to make room for Jason Kipnis’ activation off the DL.
It must have actually felt like the first game of the season for Kip, with a game time temperature in the 40s. He popped up in his first AB, but impressively saw 11 pitches.
In the opposing lineup, the White Sox had Cody Asche, who entered his 2nd inning AB hitting a very nice .069/.156/.069. Their light-hitting CF Jacob May was 69 points less nice, at .000.
Anyways, Austin Jackson, of all people, doubled to lead off the Cleveland third. Yan Gomes bunted him to third, which, quite honestly, was probably hard to argue with. It was Gomes’ second sac bunt in the Major Leagues; his first with the Indians. After Carlos Santana followed with a walk, Jose Quintana uncorked a wild pitch that scored Jackson, making the bunt REALLY hard to argue with.
The aforementioned .000 hitter scorched one in the 3rd, but was robbed by Carlos Santana's excellent defense.
In the 4th, Kipnis added a walk to his effective debut—and then scored when Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch—IN THE BAT—which made it fly over the wall for a home run!
At this point, you're probably wondering why Kluber hasn't really been mentioned yet. Well, for most of the game, there was no action when he was pitching, because the White Sox couldn't do a thing off of him. That changed a little when Melky Cabrera hit a ball off the wall—but, as he learned going to second, you do not run on Lon[nie Chisenhall].
Kluber entered the 9th at 92 pitches and a 3-0 score, leading some baseball blogger(s) to dream. He finished off the shutout with relative ease (the Sox weren't exactly hitting the ball hard), but he did not do so on fewer than 100 pitches.
Woooo ----- baseball!
• Brantley singled in 1st to improve to 14-for-28 lifetime off Quintana
• May is still hitless on the season.
• Another backup catcher reached base multiple times off Indians pitching. Never fails.