Congratulations to Corey Kluber for being named AL Pitcher of the Month!
Cleveland Indians players Steve Gromek and Larry Doby (1948)
Yan Gomes had the best possible view of Corey Kluber's incredible season for the Indians. From behind the plate, the young catcher helped guide the pitcher through brilliant outings and got to experience a firsthand look at an emerging ace.
"He made it pretty easy," Gomes said. "You see the hard work he puts in and how focused he is coming into a start. We have a pretty good game plan going in every day and it just shows how good of a communication level we had this year.
"What we took a lot of pride in this year was the adjustments we made, quick adjustments, throughout the games."
Kluber is quick to praise Gomes for those in-game tweaks. One example came against the Rays on Friday night, when Kluber spun eight scoreless innings, struck out 11 and improved to 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA this season in the process. In the middle of the game, Gomes noted that Tampa Bay was becoming more aggressive early in the count, leading to an adjustment on the pitcher’s end.
• Corey Kluber is one of four pitchers (six times) in the past 20 seasons (1995-2014) to end a year with at least 18 wins and 260 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.50 or better. Randy Johnson (1995, ‘97), Roger Clemens (‘97) and Pedro Martinez (1999-2000) also accomplished the feat. Of those previous five instances, four resulted in a Cy Young Award for the pitcher.
• For the final lineup of the regular season, Francona starteed six rookies (starterT.J. House, shortstop Jose Ramirez, first baseman Jesus Aguilar, second baseman Zach Walters, catcher Roberto Perez and center fielder Tyler Holt). In all, Cleveland has used 11 rookies this year.
• The Indians will end this season with the most combined relief appearances by an AL team in baseball history. Entering Sunday’s season finale, their 571 relief games ranked third all-time in the Majors behind the ‘12 Rockies (575) and ‘07 Nationals (588).
Outfielder Michael Brantley, on fans chanting “M-V-P!” during Saturday’s game
Jason Giambi, on his time with the Tribe (via ametola)
The time will come for veteran Jason Giambi to sit down and ponder his future in the game. Standing at his locker inside the Indians’ clubhouse on Sunday morning, Giambi said that time had not yet arrived for him.
Following Sunday’s game against the Rays, Giambi will have completed his 20th season in the Major Leagues. The 43-year-old designated hitter has yet to say one way or another if he will try to return as a player next year. For the moment, he said he has only one goal on his mind.
"I’ll go home and enjoy my family," Giambi said. "That’s the biggest thing I’ve got on my plate right now — just go home and enjoy every minute of that. And then I’ll worry about what the universe has got in store for me next."
Indians manager Terry Francona helped convince Giambi to sign with Cleveland prior to last season to provide the young team with a veteran leader in the clubhouse and a potent batter off the bench. Providing leadership has been Giambi’s primary focus over his two seasons with the Tribe, and he was thrilled to have that chance.
Terry Francona, on why he might not watch a full playoff game