Indians starter Corey Kluber was the story of the night as he shut out the Tigers over nine innings for an old-fashioned pitching gem. Anibal Sanchez nearly matched the pace, but a mini-meltdown in the fourth inning allowed all four of the Indians' runs to score. Sanchez looked good outside of that inning, and ultimately lasted seven innings, striking out seven.
The Tigers threatened in the second inning, loading the bases with only one out. But a forceout at home plate and a strikeout ended the threat. After that inning, the Tigers would only get a runner past first base one time. Kluber pitched all nine innings, allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out six.
The Indians' runs all came in the fourth inning, when Sanchez began to struggle with his command. He walked Carlos Santana to open the frame, and then hit Francisco Lindor with a pitch that was nearly in the strike zone. A single and a double plated those two runners, and a wild pitch (which could have been scored a passed ball) scored a third. Another double accounted for the final run of the inning.
Before the fourth inning and again afterwards, Sanchez pitched well. His command and movement were vastly improved over what he's shown lately, but he appeared to lose his mechanics a bit in the fourth inning (and luck definitely wasn't on his side).
The only other Tigers' pitcher to see action was Kyle Ryan, who pitched a clean eighth inning. With the loss, the Tigers drop to to 14-12 on the season. They will try to avoid the sweep against the Indians tomorrow night.
Nick Castellanos: Just a couple singles in a ho-hum 2-for-3 day. Kid is hotter than a firecracker lit at both ends.
Anibal Sanchez outside the fourth inning: After a leadoff walk, Sanchez retired eight straight batters. Later, he retired nine straight. Outside of the fourth inning, Sanchez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball, with six strikeouts to two walks.
Anibal Sanchez in the fourth inning: A walk, a hit batsman, and three hits is fine if you spread it over a few innings, but not when you cram it all into six batters. If Sanchez is going to get back to his old self he needs to learn to avoid the big inning.
The offense: They loaded the bases in the second inning, but failed to score. Other than that, they were almost as quiet as the 8,766 Indians fans in attendance tonight.
Whatever was going on in Qucken Loans Arena: A basketball game or something? Whatever it was, we could hear it through our TV's, and it was annoying.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Nick Castellanos extended his hitting streak to seven games, and has gotten a hit in 16 of his last 18 games.He still leads the AL in batting average at .378.
- It didn't take long for Miggy to extend his hitting streak to nine games with his first-inning single. Today's performance brought his career line against Kluber down to .512/.535/.927 in 43 plate appearances.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: