The Indians are going to shut ace Corey Kluber down for the next week after giving him an injection in his right knee.
Kluber has an 5.03 ERA over his last six starts and the Indians say it’s the knee that is bugging him, leading to his mechanics being messed up. That week shutdown — which straddles the All-Star break — really does nothing more than (a) push his next start back a bit without him missing a full turn; and (b) keeps him from pitching in the All-Star Game. He is expected to be back in time for the club’s fourth game after the break on July 23 against the Pirates.
Kluber being shut down opens up a position on the AL All-Star team, and that position has been given to Blake Snell, who before this was considered the biggest snub of the Midsummer Classic. He is a snub no more.
Stephen Strasburg‘s bat was on fire Thursday night in Atlanta. He hit a three-run home run off of Touki Toussaint to cap off an eight-run third inning, then added a two-run single off of Toussaint in the fifth.
The last time a pitcher knocked in at least five runs was on April 11, 2014 when Madison Bumgarner homered and drove in five runs at home against the Rockies. Strasburg is just the seventh pitcher since 2000 to knock in five runs in one game. The others, along with Strasburg and Bumgarner:
- Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) vs. Reds, October 1, 2009 (HR, 6 RBI)
- Jason Marquis (Cubs) vs. Mets, September 22, 2008 (HR, 5 RBI)
- Micah Owings (Diamondbacks) vs. Braves, August 18, 2007 (2 HR, 6 RBI)
- Robert Person (Phillies) vs. Expos, June 2, 2002 (HR, 7 RBI)
- Shawn Estes (Giants) vs. Expos, May 24, 2000 (HR, 5 RBI)
Strasburg is 3-for-3 overall as he also singled to lead off the third. Tonight’s homer marked the fourth of his career and he’s now up to 25 RBI.
Strasburg is performing well on the mound as well. At the time of this writing, he has held the Braves to a lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings as the Nationals lead 10-1.