Just another game for Corey Kluber
They call him Klubot for a reason.
Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter against the Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, coming just one walk away from pitching a perfect game. It was an impressive return to glory for a guy who had been one of the best pitchers in baseball before a recent stretch of bad injury luck. (He made just seven starts in 2019 before a comebacker broke his arm and ended his season, then threw just a single inning in 2020 due to a torn shoulder muscle.)
Wednesday’s performance should have made for an emotional night for Kluber. He was returning to the ballpark where he made his only appearance of the previous season, which also happens to be about 20 miles from where he grew up. He once again pitched like the guy who won two Cy Young Awards, proving that, at age 35, he can still mow down hitters like he did in Cleveland. And oh yeah, he threw a damn no-hitter!
And yet, from watching Kluber’s postgame interview, you’d think he’d had just had a totally average start. He looked like a guy who had just given up two runs on five hits in six innings of work, not someone who just pitched the game of his life. He never cracked a smile and never let his voice break out of its usual monotone range.
I assume the YES Network was being ironic when it posted the video of Kluber’s interview on its social media channels with the caption, “An emotional Corey Kluber met with Meredith Marakovits to talk his no-hitter performance!”
Marakovits is a good interviewer, so she knew better than to try to get the stoic Kluber to talk too much about his emotions, but I did find his response funny when she asked what he’ll remember most about the night.
“Um, I just think it was a lot of fun,” Kluber said. “I think it was a well-played game on both sides. We were able to scratch a couple runs across in—I’m sure if it was the fifth or the sixth. Aside from that, it was a well-played game. It was just fun to be a part of.”
I like to imagine, 40 years from now, Kluber’s grandkids asking him to tell the story of his no-hitter and him saying, “It was a well-played game. We got two runs in the sixth on a Tyler Wade triple and a DJ LeMahieu sacrifice fly.”
When Kluber spoke with the Yankees beat writers over Zoom later, he wasn’t much more animated.
I did count four smiles from Kluber in the press conference, though: One when asked about getting catcher Kyle Higashioka a gift, one when asked to recall the emotions he felt hugging Higashioka after the final out, one when explaining that his wife doesn’t like to watch him pitch and one when asked about the one walk he issued.
It’s funny to contrast Kluber’s interview with the freewheeling one Carlos Rodón gave after his no-hitter last month. Kluber’s unflappable demeanor has been the same ever since he entered the major leagues, so why would he be any different after a career-changing game?
The best of SI
The Yermín Mercedes mess could have been avoided if MLB teams were just allowed to forfeit. ... How high is Daniel Jones’s ceiling? ... Tim Grover talks about training Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. ... Is it time for the Louisville men’s basketball program to hit reset?
Around the sports world
Tim Tebow has reportedly signed his contract with the Jaguars and is going to be at the facility on Thursday. ... Seven medical professionals have been charged with homicide in connection with the death of soccer legend Diego Maradona. ... WWE fired a ref who had been making headlines over the past several months for spewing QAnon-inspired conspiracy theories about masks.
The best part about this LeBron game-winner? It guarantees we get to see more of him in the playoffs.
I hope the Warriors move past the Grizzlies so we can see Steph do more stuff like this
Brutal, brutal way to lose a double-overtime game
And Alex Ovechkin was not happy about the miscommunication
Great manager meltdown
The throw by Tim Anderson is so slick
Perhaps it’s easier to stay in shape than I thought
Harry Kane’s last appearance as a Tottenham player in front of the hot crowd
Argentine power River Plate was forced to play without any substitutes and a midfielder in goal due to a COVID-19 outbreak
That should be fun
He’s the son of the late ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez
A Buffalo man was arrested for trespassing at the Capitol on Jan. 6 after bragging about it at his dentist’s office. ... Researchers in London are fitting people with a mechanical third thumb. ... The body of man found on an Australian beach has been exhumed after 70 years in hopes of solving one of the country’s biggest mysteries.
That’s clearly a bus
A good song
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.