Albert Pujols singled in the top of the sixth. Two pitches later, Andrelton Simmons grounded out to end the inning.
No more Angels would reach base for the remainder of the game.
Corey Kluber was the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, and other 1950s euphemisms for unstoppable. He carved through the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup all evening and allowed just five base runners (3 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batsman). Of his 98 pitches, 64 of them were strikes. The only “trouble” that Kluber was in all game was in the third when Eric Young Jr. lined a double over the bag at third just before Kole Calhoun walked. This was the only time that the Angels had more than one runner on base, His velocity topped out at about 94 mph and he got 8 swinging strikes. His cutter, which was spilling over the plate in previous outings, was snappy and kept to the corners all game long. Hell, even Shohei “Miguel Cabrera” Ohtani couldn’t do anything against the Klubot, accounting for 2 of Kluber’s 7 strikeouts.
If there was any doubt that Kluber was still battling an injury, those worries should be comfortably gone now. Kluber pitched like a Cy Young winner today and it was absolutely stunning. My only regret is that I didn’t see the entire performance (my girlfriend wanted to go out for dinner for her birthday. Little did she know that the greatest gift of all would’ve been to watch Corey Kluber go to work).
With that being said, Kluber was in danger until the sixth inning. Not because of his pitching, but because of the offense. Like so many times this season, the bats went ice cold the moment Kluber stepped on the mound. For the first five innings, Felix Pena didn’t allow a hit. They had base runners, oh yes. Pena issued three walks in the first four innings, but the Indians either couldn’t or wouldn’t be patient and couldn’t do anything against wild starter. That is, until the sixth inning.
The no-hitter and the shutout were broken up on the same pitch when Leonys Martin led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot to right field. The new guy seems to fit right in:
Since joining the Indians, Leonys Martin sports a .571/.625/1.429 slash line (2.054 OPS). Seems good.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 5, 2018
Two more hits (Lindor double and Brantley single) pushed the score to 2-0 before Jim Johnson relieved Felix Pena and got the next three hitters to end the inning. The third insurance run was scored the next inning after back to back walks, a wild pitch, a sac bunt, and a passed ball allowed Brandon Guyer to score. But with the way Kluber was pitching, one run was plenty.
And for some Maddux related info, allow me to point you in the direction of its creator, Mr. Jason Lukehart:
He did it! Corey Kluber just completed the second Maddux of his career, shutting out the Angels on 98 pitches.— Jason Lukehart (@JasonLukehart) August 5, 2018
The Indians can get another series win with a win tomorrow. Shane Bieber takes on Deck McGuire (in place of Tyler Skaggs, who was recently placed on the DL) in day baseball.