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.
Corey Kluber would be so much more popular if he was a huge asshole. pic.twitter.com/aeY120dlCR
— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) August 9, 2017
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.