Indians

Corey Kluber pitches a gem (again), Yan Gomes walks it off

Tuesday night’s game seemed to be yet another one that ace Corey Kluber would dominate but not get any run support. Although he had sufficient run support for much of the season, the narrative seems to be that whenever Kluber pitches, the Cleveland Indians’ offense seems to struggle. That almost happened again against the Colorado Rockies. Luckily for the Indians, it didn’t.

After the 31-year-old allowed a lead-off home run by Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon on the second pitch of the game, the right-hander returned to his dominate self. He allowed just three hits and with 11 strikeouts, he is one of four pitchers to have at least eight strikeouts in at least 12 straight games.

Here’s his 11 strikeouts in 11 seconds:

With the way the game was going, it looked as though Kluber was going to pitch a complete game and still lose, with the Indians trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Then the magic happened.

Colorado closer Greg Holland, who has had a stellar season thus far, came into the game to close it out for the Rockies. Jose Ramirez popped out to start the inning, then Edwin Encarnacion showed how a veteran should handle an at-bat in the bottom of the ninth. After going down 1-2 in the count, the righty forced a nine-pitch walk to put the tying run on first. With Brandon Guyer pinch-running for Encarnacion to add a little more speed, Carlos Santana then struck out. Then, Bradley Zimmer — after an embarrassing moment in the seventh inning when he didn’t run to first and therefore hit into a double play — walked on four pitches, putting the winning run — and arguably the fastest player in baseball — on first base.

Then the true bat magic happened. On the eighth pitch of his at-bat, Austin Jackson was able to hit a bloop single in the gap in right-center field to tie the game, 1-1.

Yan Gomes has struggled at the plate for much of the season. Although he has dominated defensively, his bat has been somewhat insufferable at times. All those struggles and worries went out the door Tuesday night.

On the first pitch of his at-bat, the catcher hit a towering walk-off three-run home run to finish the incredible bottom of the ninth for the Indians and give them a win over one of the best teams in baseball.

The gatorade shower following the walk-off home run had to feel amazing for Gomes. Ina season filled with plenty of struggles at the plate, all that meant nothing Tuesday night. Hopefully, that’s what he needed to turn things around at the plate going forward. If anything, maybe that Gatorade washed away all of his struggles with his bat.

In case you didn’t hear Tom Hamilton call the walk-off, we have you covered:

Kluber was very close to pitching a complete game loss, but thanks to Gomes, the ace was rewarded for his dominance all night. With the win, the Indians increased their lead in the Central division to four games over the Kansas City Royals.

  • Garry_Owen
  • CBiscuit

    Ugh…enough about the Indians already. We’re talking about Myles Garrett right now.

  • MartyDaVille

    This erratic offense is so frustrating. Yeah, Edwin has a pretty decent number of HRs and RsBI, but it seems that he is still horrible with RISP. In fact, it seems the whole team is shaky with RISP. Any nerdometrics available to confirm or refute this? I think Manning said that the Indians were 0 for their last 16 with RISP before Jackson got that single in the 9th.

    Offensively, it was a great ending to a miserable game.

  • Allen P

    So glad I didn’t listen to my inner pessimist / “tired old man” voice that wanted to leave after the 8th. What a great finish. Kluber was so dominant, right through the 9th.

  • JM85

    Great game. It would have been tragic if Kluber had lost after that gem.

  • Chris
  • mgbode

    BAM!

  • mgbode

    And inches from Blackmon making it terrible

  • mgbode

    RISP stats should level out in a large enough sample. We’ll see. EE’s on the year are not great (they are bad) but I don’t have time to dig into if it is slanted towards his overall early year struggles or not (and like I said, they shouldn’t affect what he does from here- would only state what he has done).

  • Steve

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=3&season=2017&month=0&season1=2017&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=11,d

    We are dead last in Fangraphs’ “clutch” metric, which they describe as

    ” “…how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment.” It also compares a player against himself, so a player who hits .300 in high leverage situations when he’s an overall .300 hitter is not considered clutch.

    Clutch does a good job of describing the past, but it does very little towards predicting the future. Simply because one player was clutch at one point does not mean they will continue to perform well in high-leverage situations (and vice versa). Very few players have the ability to be consistently clutch over the course of their careers, and choking in one season does not beget the same in the future.”

    So that first part sucks, in that we’ll never get those plate appearances back. The second part is pretty good though, as having performed poorly in this area means little to nothing going forward, and we should expect some regression to the mean, and getting the mean in this situation would look something like a top five offense.

  • nj0

    Kluber said after the game, “BEEP BOP BOOP”. That roughly translates to – STRIKE OUT ALL HUMANS.

  • Garry_Owen

    It’s a game of (fractions of) inches. Blackmon almost caught it, but before that, Jackson SCRAPED a third strike for a foul tip. Either one of those inches or fractions could have ended the game in a Tribe loss; but they didn’t!!

  • MartyDaVille

    Cody Allen just screwed Bauer out of a win after Bauer was outstanding again this afternoon.

    Of course, the Tribe offense is back in it funk.

    Frustrating.

  • Chris

    Welcome back Kipnis.

  • mgbode

    Absolutely. I mostly brought it up so that I could add in that my wife saw his beard after the play and noted he would have caught the ball had he not been hampered by it while running.

  • mgbode

    We could, of course, scored even a single run when the bases were loaded in the 9th. Shaw is back though, so we’ll see what happens after his outstanding inning.

  • Garry_Owen

    Zimmer’s to blame.

  • Garry_Owen

    I love beards. Indeed, I own one, myself. But some of these are just ridiculous.

  • Chris

    #BlameBranyan

  • mgbode

    Yes, we had a whole discussion around the beards just in this game. Abe’s is magnificent. So well kept.

  • Garry_Owen

    And Carlos’s is . . . just plain weird. Jackson’s is the everyman’s beard.

  • Garry_Owen

    But seriously, if Zimmer finishes that play, Allen still has a chance to close the game.

  • mgbode

    A-Jax has a bit more volume than I’d consider for an everyman’s beard. Kluber’s closer cut seems more everyman to me.

  • Garry_Owen

    Good assessment. I just like Jackson’s apparent affection for the beard and presentation thereof, but not a fastidiousness in maintaining it as some sort of sculpture.

  • mgbode

    No doubt he takes great care with it.

  • CBiscuit

    *Carlos’

    🙂

  • Garry_Owen

    Can’t correct something with an error.

    🙁

  • Chris

    Carlos Santana August Kool-Aid Watch… .190 / .292 / .524

  • mgbode

    So, you’re saying he has an .815 OPS 🙂

    Factoring in today’s game:
    .200/.333/.480 – similar .813 OPS despite OBP up due to single & walk in 5 PA

    For the Kool-Aid watch, he has quite a ways to go on the BA but he’s ahead of his normal walk rate. Needs a big game to give him a boost.

  • MartyDaVille

    Downtick.