If you’re wondering who it is keeping Cleveland in contention, get a Klube, errr..., a Kluber. Corey Kluber to be more specific. Kluber is a little-known right-hander who is becoming an ace before our very eyes.
Kluber is 13-6 this season for Cleveland with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. In 26 starts, he has thrown 179.1 innings. He has walked just 38 and struck out 197 batters. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, Kluber was the 4th round pick out of Stetson University way back in 2007. He has certainly paid his dues in the minor leagues. In fact, in 2010, he was part of a three-team trade that sent Jake Westbrook from Cleveland to St. Louis, Ryan Ludwick from the Cardinals to the Padres, and Kluber went to Cleveland.
One year later, in September of 2011 and at the age of 25, he made his debut. He posted a 2-5 record with a 5.14 ERA in 12 starts in 2012. However, in 2013, he started his ascent. He went 11-5 with a 3.85 ERA (a 99 ERA+) in 26 games with Cleveland. When he starts against the Twins on Thursday afternoon, it will be his 27th start of the season.
He has been at his best since the beginning of July. In his last eight starts, he is 6-0 with a 1.31 ERA while averaging nearly eight innings per start.
It’s fun to watch great pitching. It’s encouraging to see a guy become so great despite not debuting until he was 25 and even have a full-time starting role in the big leagues until he was nearly 27. It’s never too late.
Let’s take a look at the pitching matchups of this three-game set. If you’re able, be sure to get to Target Field where there are still a lot of great tickets available for very reasonable prices.
Leading their charge has been the same unit that has been doing so all year: their pitching. Overall, the Indians have a 3.56 ERA this year (compared to the Twins mark of 4.35) and they’ve been even better since the break, posting a 2.80 ERA over those 25 games. (You don’t want to know how THAT compares to the Twins.)
Given those numbers, the pitching matchups look a little better than you might have hoped. Let’s go through them each and figure out which ticket you like the best:
Tuesday 7:10 p.m. – Trevor Bauer vs Kyle Gibson
This is an interesting matchup of former highly-touted college pitchers. Bauer was the 3rd overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was dealt to Cleveland following the 2012 season. After a rocky 2013, he appears to be making some strides forward in 2014. He is 4-7 with a 4.35 ERA.
Gibson was the Twins first-round pick in 2009 out of Missouri. If not for injury concerns, he would likely have been a top ten pick as well. He had his Tommy John surgery. He then struggled in his debut in 2013, but he has quietly been a very solid starter for the Twins in 2014. He is now 11-9 with a 3.96 ERA.
Check out this pitching matchup for as little as $4! There are a lot of seats available for just four dollars.
Wednesday 7:10 p.m. – TJ House vs Ricky Nolasco
24-year-old lefty TJ House will be making his 12th major league start for Cleveland in this game. He has a record of 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA. Ricky Nolasco will be making his second start since returning from his disabled list stint. He will be trying to keep his ERA below six. He is currently 5-8 with a 5.99 ERA.
There are $4 tickets available for this game too. You might want some tickets in the outfield because this game could be high scoring!
Thursday 12:10 p.m. – Corey Kluber vs Phil Hughes
This is a terrific matchup between a couple of baseball’s most underrated starting pitchers in 2014. As mentioned above, Kluber is 13-6 with a 2.41 ERA. Hughes is 13-8 with a 3.76 ERA. There are a lot of tickets still available for this matinee. Might be a good day to play a little hooky from work and watch what should be a very good pitching matchup. There are even several box seats available for less than $80.
There are plenty of good seats available for this midweek series against Cleveland. Thursday afternoon’s game promises to be quite a pitcher’s duel. Tuesday’s game is a game of starters with high ceilings who should continue to get better. Wednesday night’s game has the potential to be a slugfest. This series means a lot to Cleveland, and the Twins will try to play spoiler. Check out which seats will work best for you and your family.
And don’t forget! All of your seats are 10% cheaper and help support Twins Daily if you use the code DAILYDOUBLE. Whatever your needs (football is coming….), your local ticket supplier, Ticket King, can help.