The Cleveland Indians‘ starting pitching during their current homestand has been a sight for sore eyes. The club had two tough losses on Sunday and Monday with closer John Axford unable to shut the door Sunday and keep the Minnesota Twins off the board Monday. Nevertheless, it’s been a welcome relief to see the starting five of the rotation step up during the 5-2 homestand against the Chicago White Sox and Twins.
The two pitchers who had dominant stuff over the seven games were Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister. Kluber established a new career-high with 13 strikeouts in the teams 4-3 loss on Sunday, and in eight innings gave up just one run on three hits with two walks. In his last two home starts, Kluber has struck out 24 batters and looks like he’s just getting started on what could be a very good 2014 season.
McAllister also was very good in his start on Monday, going 6.2 innings, allowing no runs on five hits with a walk and eight Ks in the team’s 1-0 loss to the Twins. McAllsiter seemed to be back to the form that helped him start the season at 3-0 for the Indians, and he needs to follow that start up with another good one on Saturday in Tampa against the Tampa Bay Rays. He will enter that game at 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA on the season.
Getting Josh Tomlin back in the rotation was another boost for the Indians, as he went 6.2 allowing a run on four hits in the team’s win over the Twins on Tuesday. Replacing Carlos Carrasco with Tomlin should only make the rotation stronger as the season continues. Danny Salazar and Justin Masterson also threw well during the homestand, with Salazar winning a game against the Sox and Masterson notching two wins, one each over the Sox and Twins.
With a big road trip to Tampa and then Toronto, the pitching finally seems to have caught its stride 35 games into the season. If the offense can catch up, the Indians will start to look like that playoff team of a year ago again.