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Indians 5, Rockies 2: Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on Corey Kluber's dominance

By Stephanie Storm Published: May 31, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts after  another dominating pitching performance by Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, who limited the Rockies to two runs in 7 2/3 innings  and struck out 12 batters in the host Tribe’s 5-2 victory.

1) Corey Kluber does not impress Corey Kluber, but he sure  continues to impress just about everyone else.

In his robotic voice and non-emotional deliverance, Kluber shrugged off any awe over what he has done in a dominating month of May: the 4-0 record, 2.09 ERA and most impressive: 60 strikeouts in just 43 innings.

“I think strikeouts are a byproduct of making good pitches,” Kluber said. “(I’m) not going out there trying to strike guys out…I don’t really think of myself as a (strikeout) pitcher. I’m just trying to go out there and pitch.”

2) And pitch he has, as Kluber became only the fifth Indians pitcher since 1914 with 60  strikeouts in any month and the first major-league pitcher with 60 in May since Curt Schilling's 62 in 2002 for Arizona.

3) Tribe outfielder Michael Bourn admitted it’s “kind of nasty” watching the right-hander work his craft from his usual spot in center field as he’s enjoyed watching Kluber develop into a strikeout pitcher.

“The first time I saw him was in spring training, and I was like, ‘Ohh, who is that?’ Bourn said. “His stuff looks kind of nasty’ Now that I’ve seen him the last couple years, he’s a competitor. He doesn’t shy away from the big moment.

“He’s hard to get a hold of because he has balls going both ways. He knows how to expand the plate when he needs to and put it on the corner when he needs to. He’s getting a real feel for pitching. He’s only getting better and it seems like he has that attitude of trying to get better.”

4) Manager Terry Francona said it’s always impressive watching the 28-year old carve up even veteran hitters, not to mention a Rockies lineup that boasted five starters hitting .312 or higher.

“(Colorado is a very difficult team to strike out because they do a really good job of putting the ball in play,” Francona said of the National League leaders with the least club strikeouts. “With just about everybody in the lineup, there’s a bunch of crooked numbers up there.”

5) Accounting for a dozen of the Tribe pitching staff’s 15 K’s on the night Friday, Kluber notched his fifth double-digit career strikeout effort - including his third already this season. Right in front of our eyes Kluber’s becoming a bonafide ace – whether or not he prefers to ignore the obvious.

6) Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabreracontinues to turn around his season offensively after a apinfully slow start at the plate during April. Since May 7th, he's batting .315 with six doubles and three home runs in 73 at bats. Those numbers included a fifth-inning two-run home run that highlighted the Tribe’s four-run fourth inning.

“He had that real good week back aways that made him feel good about himself,” Francona said. “Then he’s kind of been battling that knee (injury). But he took that big swing tonight.”

7) Pat yourself on the back if you even considered thinking the Tribe’s top batter for average would be – drum roll, please – Lonnie Chisenhall? After starting the season hitting well, Chisenhall has continued to swing a hot bat, picking up a pair of RBI hits to increase his team-leading batting average to a beefy .362.

“His routine has been so solid and so much more consistent,” Francona said. “He’s hitting the ball all over the ballpark, so you’re gonna see guys who hit like that hit for a higher average.”  

8) As for Michael Brantley, he's so consistent, it's kind of become boring. All the Tribe’s left fielder does is hit. His two-out double in the fifth inning extended his Progressive Field hitting streak to a club-record 19 games and his overall hitting streak to 15 games.

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