Callaway talks about Kluber's struggles
SEP 02, 2014 11:00p ET
CLEVELAND -- A day after Corey Kluber had his shortest outing of the season, the right-hander and pitching coach Mickey Callaway were back at work trying to figure out what has gone wrong the past couple starts.
Kluber went only 2 2/3 innings on Monday as the Indians lost to Detroit 12-1.
Since winning six of seven starts from July 6-Aug. 15, Kluber has gone winless in his last four and has three straight losses. Callaway said on Tuesday that they identified a mechanical flaw in Kluber's delivery where he was collapsing on his back side and getting underneath the ball instead of staying on top. Callaway said that trend has been happening for a little bit.
"The tough part with him is we'd been kind of seeing that trend but he was still dealing," Callaway said. "So, just because he goes seven innings, gives up three runs and punches out 10, doesn't mean you say anything to a guy yet. So, I guess talking about it today after last night was probably good timing."
With Kluber at 195 1/3 innings on the season, guarding against injury and him tiring will also be something that will be more of a focus down the stretch. A month ago Callaway said that they might have let Kluber try to pitch through it, but with the expanded rosters Callaway and Francona thought it was best to get Kluber out of there and focus on his next start against the White Sox on Saturday.
Kluber, who normally doesn't say a lot after games, said even less after Monday's game with his postgame comments lasting 55 seconds. With a lack of run support in his last four starts and often pitching in close games, Callaway thinks that Kluber's frustration might have gotten the best of him on Monday.
"I do feel that he's had 200 stressful innings this year," Callaway said. "Where every ballgame he's pitched in has been pretty close. Sooner or later, you reach that boiling point - and he might have reached that a little last night. But he identified that he did (Tuesday) and recognized that he doesn't need to worry about that and just go about what he's been doing in the past, which is just going out there and competing and not worrying about what the score is, what the umpire calls or whatever."
"It was just that you go out there everyday and you battle, you battle, and you battle and things don't work out. I think he got to that point last night. I don't think he was upset with any one play or any one person, just frustrated that he should have 18, 19 wins right now. That's just the reality of the situation. He's been stuck on 13 (wins) for awhile and that's gotta be frustrating."
Despite the rough outing, Kluber is fifth in the American League in ERA (2.58), third in innings and third in strikeouts (215).
Kluber did get some good news on Tuesday. The official scorer changed a Miguel Cabrera single to a Mike Aviles error, which meant that the three runs scored by Detroit in the third were unearned and dropped Kluber's ERA from 2.72 to 2.58.
Follow on Twitter joereedy