When the New York Yankees kicked off the 2021 season between 5 and 10 and General Manager Brian Cashman announced to the media that the team had played a 15-game stretch that they would like to forget, many baseball observers assumed the Bronx Bomber Eventually there would be an offense with DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge anchoring the line-up.
The actual question marks surrounded the pitching staff, with the group’s success depending on the success of Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon and Domingo German.
Wednesday night was the culmination of a season resurgent for clubbers as the 35-year-old two-time Cy Young Award winner finished his unsuccessful first career and sixth in the majors of that season with a win over Texas Rangers 2 -0. For Kluber, who threw only one inning in his only season with the Rangers in 2020, a one-off stroll in the third inning to see Charlie Culberson was the only blemish of his night.
With nine starts this season, Kluber has an ERA of 2.86 with a whip of 1.17 in 50 innings and was the second best starter of the rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole, who had an ERA of 2.03 and a whip of 0.78 has in 57 innings in nine starts.
“It was so fun to be a part of it and watch Corey turn it around,” said manager Aaron Boone. “It was really a privilege. I had butterflies in this ninth inning that was getting a little emotional now. To experience that was special and to see your teammates and everyone’s excitement for Corey, just the excitement for yourself, part of it to be a thing. What an accomplishment. What can you say? “
The question of durability hung over the rotation of the Yankees at the beginning of the season, with the trio of Kluber, German and Taillon only joining forces for one start in 2020. Over the course of the season, Kluber had increased their pitch count and posted a The Strong Month of May with 1.88 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 28⅔ innings over four starts after an April in which the Righty got a 4.15 ERA and 1, Recorded 71 WHIP over 21⅔ innings.
A seasonal return to club form would be a boon for the New York pitching staff. In his last full season in 2018, Kluber made 33 starts with 2.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 5.9 bWAR, but he threw only 36⅔ innings between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The Yankees went into the season as strong favorites to win the American League East. Currently, however, they are in a team of four, 1½ games behind first-placed Boston Red Sox, who got off to a hot start with an offensive led by JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers and a surprising rotation that featured strong performances from Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez.
Given the division’s apparent strength, the Yankees will need clubs to maintain the form he showed during his no-hitter against the Rangers when he threw 101 pitches against his former team while beating nine batters.
Corey Kluber beats nine, goes only one, as he ends his first unsuccessful career with a 2-0 Yankees win.
“Corey came here and established himself in our culture, in the clubhouse that everyone loves,” said Boone. “I’m excited for him and his story and what he’s been through.”
In January, Kluber performed a bullpen session tryout in front of scouts from two thirds of the MLB teams. Between 2019 and 2020, Kluber suffered three separate injuries, including a broken right arm after being hit by a line drive in a game in early 2019, and then was shut down during rehab for an abdominal injury. During his one season in Texas, Kluber had a muscle problem in the back of his throwing shoulder.
“My low point was after that first inning in Texas just because I’d spent over a year working my butt off to get to that point,” Kluber told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers in January. “One of the things I wanted to make sure I did while I was injured [in 2019] Was this puzzle put together and what had gone sideways and how do I get onto the track. “
After Wednesday, Kluber seems to be back on track.
Boone said, “He’s got another defining and special moment.”