On Saturday afternoon the Ohio State football team easily disposed of San Diego State. On Saturday night distinguished Buckeye alum Nick Swisher doubled and homered in the first two innings. O-H-I-O. Swisher's early thunder helped the Tribe and right-hander Corey Kluber defeat the Mets 9-4 at Progressive Field. Asdrubal Cabrera snapped an 0-for-19 skid with a three-run homer late. "Just trying to make the state of Ohio cool again'' Swisher said. "Big win by the Buckeyes big win by the Tribe. Just trying to follow suit.'' The Indians (76-65) have won four straight and five of six. They entered the night merely two games out of the second wild-card spot. After a loss August 31 they were 4 ½ off that pace. "This is the grind man'' Swisher said. "This is the push. It's been a while since this team had this opportunity and we're going to do our best to take full advantage.'' The Indians have zero players ranked in the top 30 in the American League in homers. They have one Jason Kipnis in the top 37 in RBI. They have been counted out numerous times after bad stretches. Yet here they are very much alive with 21 games remaining. "We're starting to get toward the middle of September and every time we win we're getting closer to where we want to be'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Because we've endured a lot every game every inning is so meaningful. It's just a great opportunity for this team to kind of shine and I think they're enjoying it.'' The Mets (63-77) have lost five of six. They will send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound Sunday afternoon in hopes of avoiding a three-game sweep. Remember Dice-K? The Indians signed the former standout for Francona's Red Sox to a minor-league contract in the offseason. Matsuzaka made 19 starts for the Class AAA Columbus Clippers but never made it to Cleveland. He was released Aug. 20 and signed by the Mets two days later. Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 10.95 ERA in three starts. He got rocked in his previous start last Monday in Atlanta. Kluber making his first start since Aug. 5 gave up two runs on five hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked one. He went just five plus one batter because of a pitch limit. He threw 64 pitches; the projection was 70-75. "Corey looked pretty much like he hadn't skipped a beat'' Francona said. "There was a little bit of rust I think with the location of his fastball. But he held his velocity from pitch one and for the long layoff he had he was outstanding.'' Kluber (8-5 3.54 ERA) had been sidelined because of a sprained middle finger which resulted from curveballs thrown in the previous outing. He said he would use all of his pitches without restriction upon his return and he seemed to do so.
Cabrera, Swisher homer as Indians pound Mets, 9-4
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Sep 8