The Corey Kluber trade that sent Emmanuel Clase to the Cleveland Indians looks better and better every single day.
Sorry, Texas Rangers fans.
Clase has made himself a go-to option for Terry Francona late in games.
And that is on a roster that already had a true closer in James Karinchak.
Both pitchers have been absolutely phenomenal.
But Clase has been just a bit better and one stat proves that.
#Indians Emmanuel Clase has now faced 59 batters this season without allowing an ER.
The only pitcher that's faced more batters and has 0 ER allowed this season is Alex Reyes (63).https://t.co/Y8vMSSMW4k pic.twitter.com/Hs7wxxg6yD
— Stathead (@Stathead) May 6, 2021
The backend of this Indians bullpen is truly unreal and proved it once again during the sweep of the Kansas City Royals.
Emmanuel Clase’s Dominance in 2021
Clase is just not giving up runs this season.
He has appeared in half of the team’s games and has six saves on the year.
Even when things don’t go perfect, hitters just can’t capitalize.
Clase allowed two hits Thursday afternoon in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Indians held a 4-0 lead, but the Royals were threatening.
He was then able to force a double play, followed by a strikeout to end the game.
Emmanuel Clase, 101mph 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/OXqtSHiV6Q
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 6, 2021
This closed out a combined shutout that also saw Nick Sandlin throw two perfect innings.
It was nice to see someone else out there getting work.
Terry Francona cannot only go with Clase, Karinchak, and Bryan Shaw every single night.
An Ideal Situation Late in Games
The Indians have the formula down.
Just keep it close through six innings and the trio of Shaw, Karinchak, and Clase can close it out.
But didn’t we just say that can’t be the formula every single night?
The Indians are not going to have a shot to win every night and are not going to sweep every series like they did this week.
The trio can be used on nights when the team carries a lead late into the game.
Because once the ball is handed to Shaw, opposing teams know what awaits them.
Sandlin is another pitcher who could factor into the equation as well.
The same is true for Phil Maton and even Cal Quantrill.
There is a surplus of talent in the bullpen and that is great news for the organization.
But Clase has made it clear he is the guy to get the ball in the ninth inning.
Will he allow a run at some point?
Yes, and likely soon.
That still does not take away from the fact the team got an absolute steal from the Rangers in exchange for the fading Kluber.
Karinchak is leading the way with all the strikeouts.
Clase, however, still hasn’t allowed a run to score and that makes him the obvious choice when it comes to closing games.
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