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Kluber propels Indians to another shutout

It is the third time the Tribe shutout the White Sox this season

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In 1974, Gaylord Perry tallied more than 200 innings pitched, 200 strikeouts, and 22 wins in a single season. Corey Kluber won’t match Perry in the win column, but with his 20th victory tonight he is the first Indian since then to achieve to reach all three milestones. His win also coincides with the 17th shutout of the season for the ballclub — the most in the American League. The fabulous bullpen work that closed out the game should make postseason opponents nervous.

On the Mound

Kluber dominated. In seven innings of work the two-time Cy Young winner bolstered his credentials for a potential third award. He struck out eleven batters, allowing only four hits and one walk. We’ve come to expect this from Kluber. He tortured right-handed hitters all night with his signature breaking ball away, but added several more strikeouts by dropping his two-seamer right over the outside edge.

The most exciting takeaway from tonight, however, is the dominance flashed by both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Miller pitched the 8th and retired the side on sixteen pitches. The last two outs came courtesy of looking-strikeouts, though Miller earned four swing-and-miss strikes along the way. Allen entered in the ninth and needed only thirteen pitches to finish to job, also earning two strikeouts. The issue that dogged him for most of the season — a lack of knuckle-curve command — turned into a strength tonight. Even the ones that he threw for a ball couldn’t really be considered “misses” as they flirted with the bottom edge of the zone. If the Indians can receive this level of performance from the bullpen in the postseason, then they will play late into October.

The White Sox also enjoyed a fantastic start as Dylan Covey once again blanked the Indians for six pitches. When he turned things over to the bullpen things did not go quite as smoothly, however.

At the Plate

The Indians earned a handful of hits in the first six innings but couldn’t put a run on the board until the seventh. Brandon Guyer cranked a solo home run to left field on the third pitch of his at-bat — only his second bomb of the season off of a right-handed pitcher. The innings nearly became crooked on the very next pitch. Erik Gonzalez ripped a hung slider, but a fantastic robbery by Daniel Palka turned the would-be run into an out.

The ninth is when the Indians poured it on courtesy of five consecutive hits. Adam Rosales hit his first home run as an Indian, while Greg Allen, Yandy Diaz, Brandon Barnes, and Edwin Encarnacion all tacked on hits after him. That scored the third and fourth runs of the game for Cleveland. Yonder Alonso, who had two hits on the game, grounded out, and a strikeouts from Yan Gomes ended the inning. The insurance runs are nice to see even if Cody Allen did not need them.

The Indians play the White Sox again tomorrow night with Trevor Bauer making his second start since returning from the disabled list.