Can every day be Mother’s Day?
The Cleveland Indians smoked the Royals this afternoon 11-2. While I’m sure that the mothers of the Royals are also proud of their boys, they didn’t have a chance. Kluber came out and established the edge of the strike zone immediately, allowing only two runs during his clinic. Meanwhile, everybody but Rajai Davis got a hit today. We’re going to cut him some slack, though, because he walked and scored.
Unrestrained celebration of Corey Kluber
Kluber allowed eight hits today, which might not sound particularly wonderful for him. Here’s something to keep in mind: few of those balls were particularly well-hit. Only a few balls-in-play left the bat faster than 90 MPH. So, while a decent chunk of his pitches became balls in play, none of them did serious damage.
I think this is a result of Kluber’s approach today. He relied primarily on his cutter and two-seam fastball, mixing in the changeup against lefties. We all know that his breaking ball is one of (if not the) best pitches in all of baseball. Today, he showed that he can control a game without it. He threw 21, total compared to 64 combined between his cutter and 2-seam. By the end of last season, when Kluber won the Cy Young again, he relied on the curveslideslurveball nearly 40% of the time.
Friend of baseball Rob Friedman does an excellent job of displaying pitch tunnels on his @PitchingNinja twitter account. That’s exactly what Kluber appears to have mastered with his cutter and two-seamer. They are both clinical in precision and filthy in action. The answer to “how does a hitter figure out which is which when they both come from the same release point and pitch tunnel but break so late?” is reflected in his ERA and WHIP.
Unrestrained celebration of Ned Yost
Why, exactly, did Ned Yost let Danny Duffy stay on the grill for so long? He gave up nine today. I wonder if Yost just figured that the game was lost, so why bother burning additional relievers? It’s hard to say. The reality is that Duffy pitched 3.1 innings, earned nine runs, walked five, and spent 87 pitches to do it. Even his replacement Brian Flynn struggled. While two runs in three innings is glowing by comparison, he needed an average of 20 pitches per inning.
Obviously we tend to harbor strong opinions of the Nedster over here at Let’s Go Tribe. I am curious to honestly know why he let Duffy get incinerated on television for the third consecutive game. It doesn’t really matter, though; the Royals are shooting for 65 wins this season.
Unrestrained celebration of The Baseball
Yan Gomes had a party today, and he was nice enough to invite all of us. 4-5 with a single, double, and dinger, he joined Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez in the 3-RBI club today. This overlapped with the home run club, as they all went deep. Francisco Lindor roped his 14th double on the season, one of three steak-extending hits. Even Greg Allen got in on the action with two hits, adding an RBI on a fielders choice. No, he’s not going to reproduce the .400+ OBP he has in Columbus up in Cleveland just yet, but no one should realistically expect that, either. He’s played less than a full season at Akron and Columbus combined, and so his ability to contribute what he has at this level right now should put things into perspective.
Unrestrained debate regarding Andrew Miller’s barber
On one hand, Andrew Miller is still the best reliever in baseball, and probably not reliant on facial fuzz for his effectiveness. I think the look of his slider is intimidating enough. Besides, Lindor shaved his trademark hair and clearly hasn’t missed a beat.
On the other, he now looks like the guy tending to the kiosks at Panera who claims to have “totally dropped 22 points” in a basketball game during high school and would have gone pro if he didn’t have to take over his dad’s plumbing business that was “definitely already failing, yo dude don’t poke the screen so hard it’s capacitive not resistive.”
Realistically, it doesn’t matter; he struck the last hitter of the game out on a pitch that would have been behind someone standing in the opposite batter’s box.
Please leave unrestrained comments and give your mother unrestrained hugs
Man, that was fun, and I think this is the kind of game that we all needed to see as Indians fans after the way this series started. The offense is absolutely melting opponents right now, and I honestly believe the bullpen is not as bad as it appears. It’s May, it’s finally warm, and the summer is just around the corner in Cleveland.
A final thought: just imagine Silver Slugger Yan Gomes coming out for one last ride this season on top of the rest of this lineup. Which, by the way:
Current dinger comparison:— Benno Martens (@bennomartens) May 13, 2018
Lindor/ : 24