Yankees: Corey Kluber breaks down his shutout performance versus Detroit

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Apr 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees took down the Tigers by a score of 2-0. It was New York’s second shutout of the series and their 14th win of the year. They are finally back to .500 after a big sweep of Detroit this weekend. 

Corey Kluber was fantastic. After a dominant start against the Orioles last Tuesday, Kluber began right where he left off. Within the first four innings, Kluber had tallied eight strikeouts. He also only allowed one hit through his first five innings. The use of his changeup was the difference in this one. He had fourteen swings and misses on his changeup. His career-high before today was only seven. Kluber finished his outing with eight innings pitched and ten strikeouts. That was his first ten strikeout performance since 2018. 

Even though Kluber started the season slowly, his stuff had been getting better after each start. He remained confident that his movement pitches were improving and that his accuracy was becoming more consistent. With back-to-back impressive outings from Kluber, I think it’s safe to say he’s in his mid-season form.

So, what changed?

After the game, Kluber was asked about his performance. He said, “it felt good to go out there and execute from start to finish,” and that it was “fun” to go out there and pitch well. He also said his success today was because of his ability to “mix pitches.” He said they could tell the lefties were “jumping” on the inside pitches, which allowed him to mix it up. Kluber finished by saying that this was a continuation of his start in Baltimore and that he is finishing his “building up” process. 

The media also met with Kyle Higashioka after today’s win. He said that the first time through the order is when he realized Kluber had his stuff. Saying that he thought he was really “locked in.” He said that when a pitcher throws the way Kluber did that it’s “really fun” and that Kluber’s stuff was something out of a “video game.” Higashioka also said he was very impressed with Kluber’s changeup. Stating that “the change in speeds” and ability “to move it all around the zone” was very impressive. 

Overall, you can tell Kluber was locked in today. The way he located his pitches from start to finish was something we haven’t seen from Corey this year. Kluber established some consistency with back-to-back great outings. In Kluber’s first four starts, he only pitched a total of 15 innings. However, in his last two, he’s pitched 14 innings. Kluber is now providing much-needed length and efficiency for New York. 

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