The Indians turned to a more stable starter in Game 4 as they attempt to win the American League pennant for the first time in 19 years, and Corey Kluber continued a standout start to his first MLB postseason.
Prior to giving up a Josh Donaldson solo home run, Kluber began the Tribe’s playoff run by setting a franchise record for the longest shutout streak in postseason play. The former Cy Young award winner held Red Sox and Blue Jays batters scoreless for 16 innings prior to Donaldson’s blast with two outs in the third on Tuesday at Rogers Centre.
Even just prior to Donaldson’s home run, Kluber continued his dominance by opening the inning with strikeouts of Jose Bautista and Ryan Goins. At the time of publication, the Indians trail the Blue Jays 2-0, with Aaron Sanchez besting Kluber thus far, but lead Toronto 3-0 in what’s been a competitive, but ultimately one-sided, series.
Looking to become the second team in three years to stroll to a World Series without having lost a game in the AL bracket — the 2014 Royals set a postseason record by winning their first eight games — the Indians have received stellar work from their sixth-year right-hander. Kluber blanked the Red Sox in seven innings in Game 2 of the ALDS and shut down the Jays across 6.1 to give the Tribe a 1-0 series lead in the ALCS.
Thanks to the work from Kluber and a dominant bullpen, the Tribe have placed the Jays in position where their only way to their first World Series in 23 years would be to join the 2004 Red Sox in info-graphic lore by coming back from a 3-0 series deficit.
For the Jays to do that, they’d almost certainly have to see Kluber again — either as a starter in Game 7 or out of the bullpen at some point.