After perhaps the best all-around game of the season yesterday, the Indians head into a weekend series on the West Coast against the Giants. I was trying to think of something snarky to say about San Francisco, but couldn't settle on just one thing. I'll just I say more dog poop on the sidewalks in that city than I have anywhere else, so take that as you will. Anyway... on to the news & notes!
Yesterday's game: Indians 5, Royals 1
Corey Kluber was absolutely dominant, racking up 11 K's and pitching the Tribe's first complete game of the season in just 101 pitches. The offense looked competent, too! Of course Klubot's only run was unearned, so it's not like we're perfect now or something.
Other Indians news
Klubot stoic after exceptional performance | Cleveland.com - Corey Kluber shows why he earned the nickname "Klubot" as he refuses to get too excited after yesterday's performance. But he's not fooling anyone - Terry Francona appreciates his "fire" and drive, plus this exchange is hilarious:
"Did you smile after the game?" Masterson asked. "I did," Kluber replied, flashing a short-lived grin. "Only when I saw you."
Is Masterson reinventing himself? | Cleveland.com - Due to the drop in velocity, Justin Masterson finds himself focusing more on his sinker since he can't get his four-seamer up to the speeds he used to. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway says Masterson is healthy and not looking for a wholesale reinvention - he simply can't find the velocity, so he's doing what he can to compensate.
Kipnis happy with 2014 results at the plate (and other notes) | Indians.com - A .244/.362/.436 line might not sound incredible for your all-star second baseman, but it sure beats Jason Kipnis' .555 OPS last April. Honestly, that line looks better than I'd have expected. Maybe it's because he's been kind of a brick in the field so far.
Frazier adjusting to not hitting homers every at bat | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - After hitting 63 homers in his high school career, Indians slugging prospect Clint Frazier says pro baseball has been an adjustment. After tearing it up in Arizona last year, he's struggling a bit early with Lake County. But he's aware that as a 19 year-old, he's still got a long way to go, and he's not intimidated by playing in a league full of older guys.
Indians offer hope even at .500 | Cleveland.com - The starting rotation has very few wins (!) and our cleanup hitter has a batting avergae under .200 (!!). The sky is falling! But I mean, we're still 11-11 somehow. I wonder if that has anything to do with using dumb stats for analysis?
Bourn's contract dictating playing time | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - Sharing this mostly because it set me into a rage and I didn't want to be alone in my anger. Using infuriatingly small samples to try to justify an emotional argument and comparing MLB to NFL - this one should set off all of our triggers!
Indians look to spoil Giants' homecoming (series preview) | MLB.com - This is the first time we play the Giants since 2011, when they swept us in a three-game series.
Best of Cleveland - sports blogs
Just for fun - I noticed Waiting for Next Year won Best Sports Blog in Cleveland Scene's 2014 "Best of Cleveland" competition. I was a bit surprised, but if the All Star Game has taught us anything, it's that fan votes mean nothing. The most deserving players are chosen by the managers. The Scene's staff pick for best sports blog? A little place called Let's Go Tribe. Soak it in, folks.
Tidbits from around MLB
- Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon sued for alleged rape | USA Today
- Baseball's most compelling fringe prospects | Fangraphs
- Yankees fail to "cheat the right way" in Michael Pineda pine tar incident | Fox Sports
- Scuffing is a far more efficient way to cheat | Sports on Earth
- Visualizing body types by lineup position | Fangraphs
- Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova to undergo Tommy John surgery | CBS Sports