Kluber reigned supreme for six innings.
As Corey Kluber walked off Progressive Field to a standing ovation, chants of Corey filed the air. You see, Kluber had just performed at an extremely and highly effective level and for six innings, he breezed through six innings he faced 22 batters, striking out nine to only four hits. His coaches could not be prouder.
“There’s a fire though that burns in there that maybe people don’t see,” said Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who is 9-0 in the World Series. “I think he shows more of his personality in the clubhouse than maybe he ever will to the media, which is his choice. But his work ethic is probably second to none. I mean, his routines are impeccable during the year, and there’s a reason that he holds his stuff all year. Like his gas tank needle doesn’t start going down because he just gets after it every day.
“He’s kind of grown up into this pitcher right in front of us, and it’s been fun to watch.
“It’s almost like you have that extra level of intensity,” said Kluber, who became the first Series pitcher to strike out eight batters in the first three innings.
The Cubs, who broke into the playoffs for the first time since 1996, are more concerned with how the team responds after getting blanked in Game One.
“I have no concerns,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s the first game. I’m fine. We’re fine.”
Kluber believes this is the squad to take the Cubs out of the World Series Picture.
“I don’t know if it’s just the group of guys that we have that we’re able to handle adversity well,’’ Kluber said, “or over the last couple years realized that’s the kind of baseball we need to play to be successful. Everybody kind of realizes that we each have our own job.
“It’s not one superstar going out there and carrying the team.’’