Indians dominated by Scott Kazmir as Corey Kluber struggles

Thearon W. Henderson

Welp, there goes the dream of a 162-0 season...

Game 2: Athletics 6, Indians 1

Goodyear, Arizona to Oakland, California is 724 miles by road, and somewhere along the way there must be a broken-down truck with the Indians' bats in it.

A game like today's, which went bad in a number of different ways, always feels worse so early in the season, because the season hasn't yet taken on a proper scale. Every starting pitcher is going to have games when nothing is working very well. Every lineup is going to have days when it just can't get anything going. Both of those things are going to happen in the same game from time to time. When they converge on a random day in July, you don't think much of it, but when that game constitutes half the team's body of work on the season, it's easy to convince yourself the sky is falling. It doesn't help when the guy dominating the Indians was on the team last year.

Scott Kazmir (who departed Cleveland over the offseason when Oakland offered him $22 million for 2 years) was fantastic Wednesday afternoon, pitching 7.1 shutout innings and allowing only 3 baserunners. His fastball was hitting 92 MPH regularly as he collected 5 strikeouts. Jason Kipnis had one of those 3 hits, and also doubled in the 9th, and Carlos Santana drove him in with a single back up the middle, so the Tribe avoided being shutout, but a 6-1 loss isn't much fun.

Corey Kluber started for the Indians, and while his velocity was solid for so early in the year (he hit 94 MPH a few times), he didn't appear to have much command, and he gave up a lot of hard-hit balls. Two hits and a walk scored one for Oakland in the 1st, and then 3 hits and a walk scored two more in the 2nd. Things might have been worse that inning, but Santana made a nice charing scoop at third base and threw a runner out at the plate (Santana also lated made a fielding error).

The play at the plate was very close, and was challenged by A's skipper Bob Melvin. The review took 5 minutes, which is far too long. If the system is going to avoid being a drag on games, it's got to be sped up. Here's the play (and the review):


Kluber issued another walk and then allowed a line-drive home run that effectively ended the game. With two on and one out in the 4th, he was pulled from the game. Not a good start to the season for Corey. Scott Atchison did well for 1.2 innings, followed by Vinnie Pestano, who started out with a strikeout ,but then gave up back-to-back doubles.

This was the front-end of a doubleheader, so the Tribe will get another crack at things in a couple hours. Hopefully Zach McAllister has better stuff than Kluber did, and hopefully that truck arrives from Goodyear with the bats.

Box Score

Win-expectancy chart:


Source: FanGraphs

There was never much doubt after the 2nd inning.

Roll Call:

Game Thread

Total comments: 696

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