What looked like an even match-up on paper looked anything but that on the field as the Indians trounced the Blue Jays 2-0 to take their first win of the Championship Series.
Cy Young nominee Corey Kluber wielded a nasty curveball in 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing eight baserunners and striking out six. Of the eight batters to reach base, five found themselves in scoring position through the first four frames. Kluber painted the corners of the strike zone with his off-speed stuff and, failing that, leaned on a couple of slick defensive moves from Mike Napoli to limit Toronto’s threat on the basepaths.
The Blue Jays, on the other hand, found themselves outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned, even as their right-hand(ed) man went the distance for a complete game loss. Marco Estrada took a shutout into the sixth inning, where Francisco Lindor manipulated a changeup for the first and only runs of the night on a one-out, two-RBI bomb to right field.
Estrada knocked out six strikeouts in the eight-inning loss, becoming one of four pitchers to log a complete game loss in the postseason since 1996 — and the second since the 2016 postseason began. (Giants’ right-hander Johnny Cueto holds the other complete game loss of this year’s playoff run, with a 10-strikeout three hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS.)
At the end of the day, however, the Blue Jays’ offense was stifled by an airtight Indians’ defense. When Kluber and his 0.00 postseason ERA exited the game, left-hander Andrew Miller and his 0.00 ERA arrived, surrendering one base hit and striking out five in 1 2/3 innings of relief.