Just hours after announcing that rookie Ryan Merritt would start Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona announced during an in-game interview with TBS that he would be switching his rotation yet again, going with Corey Kluber on the hill for Game 4 after Game 3 starter Trevor Bauer left in the first inning due to a bloodied finger.
Kluber has never started a game on three days rest is his major league career, which he will be doing when he makes the start on Tuesday. The Indians have all hands on deck with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar already out for the series with injuries, as well as Bauer, leaving them with just two of their regular season starters remaining.
Although he already has a Cy Young Award on his résumé (2014), Kluber became an All-Star for the first time in 2016. He owned the same record during the 2016 regular season as he did during his Cy Young campaign (18-9), and he once again led the American League in FIP, posting a 3.26 mark this season. He also led the league in ERA+ at 149.
For the third consecutive season, Kluber reached the 215-inning plateau. He has yet to allow a run in his postseason career, tossing 13 combined shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS and against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALCS.
In his second career start at the Rogers Centre back on July 3, Kluber allowed five earned runs in just 3.1 innings of work, as the Blue Jays went on to win the game, 17-1.