Kluber with 2-hit, 8-inning shutout. 3 Reasons Why NY 2 Detroit 0 on 5-2-21

The gamble on Corey Kluber appears to be working out. After pitching better and better and better with each start, he put it all together in this game — 8 innings, 2-hit shutout baseball, striking out 10, walking 1, in guiding the Yankees to the 2-0 victory on a beautiful, sunny, warm (70 degrees) Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

NY evened its record at 14-14 on the season, and afterwards Boston blew a late 3-1 lead (courtesy Adam Ottavino in relief for them) so the Yanks are now 2.5 games out of 1st.


1. Kluber Sensational

Corey Kluber is now 2-2 3.03. If he continues to pitch like this he and Gerrit Cole give the Yankees the most formidable 1-2 punch in baseball. And 1-2-3 punch if you count the way Domingo German has been pitching. And 1-2-3-4-5 punch if you add Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery. With Michael King pitching great in the shadows of the starting rotation and Luis Severino due back in July.

Said Kluber after the game, “It felt good to go out there and execute from start to finish. It’s kind of fun to go out there and have that feeling.”

Kluber said his success was due to “mixing pitches; throwing different pitches for strikes; Higgy and I were on the same page as far as what they were trying to do and adjusting to what it seemed like their plan was, and once we recognized what they were trying to do, adjusting to it.”

Kluber credited his changeup for that success — “I’m guessing they had a hard time recognizing it as a changeup,” adding, “Lefties were looking to jump on stuff on the inner part of the plate whether it be cutter or fastball, and once we got them sped up, the changeup was effective at that point.”

2. Chapman Sensational Again with the Save

And Aroldis Chapman sensational again with a 3-straight-outs save, striking out 2. His new split-fingered fastball added to his arsenal making him almost unhittable. Chapman has not allowed a run yet this year.

In 10 innings, he has 24 strikeouts, 3 walks, a 0.00 ERA, and 6 saves.

3. A Couple of Runs

With all that pitching, a couple of runs is all the Yankees needed and they got them in the 2nd against Detroit starter Jose Urena, who otherwise pitched well (7 innings, 3 hits, 7 strikeouts).

Gio Urshela led off with an infield single, Aaron Hicks walked, Mike Ford hit a drive to the wall in center that was caught, but Urshela moved to 3rd on a sac fly, and then Kyle Higashioka doubled in a run. Brett Gardner hit a drive caught at the wall in right allowing Hicks to score on a sac fly. That was it. That was all the scoring for the day.

The two balls to the wall followed a ball to the wall that Aaron Judge hit in the 1st, just missing a homer too. All the more magnified because Urena does not allow homerun balls — he allows lots of grounders.

Etcetera: Many Pitchers ‘On Fire’

It is hard to say how well Kluber is pitching because with the lively ball that MOVES so much when thrown, everyone seems to be striking out 10 in 5 innings these days. Batting averages are way down, and if you hit the ball it goes for a homer.

Matt Harvey is back pitching well. Madison Bumgarner just pitched a no hitter the other day (afterwards saying his arm is not what it was). Ian Kennedy is back closing for Texas (he got the save in the win over Boston later in the afternoon). It seems every pitcher who can get the ball over the strike zone wants in on this lively ball.

But the Yanks will take having Kluber returning to form.

The Boxscore


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