Photo Credit: Lets Go Tribe
With one of the best players in the AL in Francisco Lindor sidelined for the start of the season, you might think the Indians would struggle early on. Right? Well, if that’s your guess you are sadly mistaken. The Indians are 6-3 (their best record out of the gate since 2011) after a week of play and sitting at 2nd in the AL Central and there’s one very definitive reason, Mike Clevinger and the rest of the starting rotation.
In the MLB you’re very fortunate to have one or two aces in your starting rotation. One or two guys who have the kinda stuff that leaves opposing batters in awe. Well, the Indians have 4 of those guys. Corey Kluber, winner of multiple Cy Young Awards, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger have been phenomenal for this injury prone Tribe squad.
We all know what Kluber and Carrasco are capable of, but they’re not even the ones making noise this season. The 3rd and 4th guys in Bauer and Clevinger have been absolutely lights out for the Indians through 9 games. In Clevinger’s last two starts he’s posted 22 strikeouts through 12 scoreless innings. Unreal. Not to mention Bauer putting up a no-no through 7 innings, where he was begging to get back in and finish what he started. The duo of Bauer and Clevinger have put up a combined era of .32 through 2 starts each.
Now pitching can’t get the job done forever, but if they stay anywhere close to the realm of where they are now, the Indians will be sitting pretty when Lindor and Kipnis return to the lineup. Hopefully, the addition of these two will raise their teams batting average from one of the league’s worst at .128. Until then let’s just enjoy the outstanding display of pitching in Cleveland.