CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Like the Cleveland Indians, Chris Pratt is still doing big things in 2017.
If the defending American League Champions continue their roll any longer, the man who played Scott Hatteberg in the 2011 film Moneyball may be needed to bring his baseball-acting chops back to the big screen.
Does he look like a Kluber to you?
Now that the Indians have tied those Moneyball Oakland Athletics and their 20-game win streak from 2002, things are about nine innings from thinking about who might play both Kluber and shortstop Francisco Lindor in Moneyball 2: More Money.
When it looked like the Indians may not have enough to make history on Tuesday night, it was the regular cast who saved them. Kluber tossed his sixth career complete-game shutout, third this year, while Lindor hit his second career leadoff homer.
It was all the Indians needed to continue their run, and it was apt, their biggest stars shining in the biggest moment of the season to date.
For Lindor, it was home run number 30, a mark that no Indians shortstop had ever reached in a single season.
The 23-year old said the milestone essentially came down to being healthy for a full season, and again dispelled the idea of a ‘power-hitter’ label until he hits 50 round-trippers in a season.
Label or not, the home run was the marking of a culmination of sorts for a young star blossoming into a well-rounded superstar.
“Remember when you guys would ask me, and I’d say, ‘We don’t know, but it’s going to be fun to watch.’ And it has been,” Manager Terry Francona said. “He’s growing into a guy that is able to use the whole ballpark and hit for average, but also drive the ball out of the ballpark and play the defense. You’d never quite know, but it sure is fun to watch him.”
The milestone is not one that happens for someone like Lindor often, either.
Despite the home run surge in 2017, no other shortstop entered the night with more than 21 home runs. No shortstop in baseball has hit 30 long-balls in a season since 2011 when JJ Hardy and Troy Tulowitzki.
No switch-hitting shortstop has ever hit more than 30 in a season, though Jose Valentin and Jimmy Rollins reached the plateau in 2004 and 2011 respectively. Lindor is also just the third shortstop in baseball history to hit 30 homers before the age of 24, joining Alex Rodriguez (twice) and Nomar Garciaparra.
Lindor also played best supporting actor to Kluber’s potentially award-winning performance, with a fantastic play in the hole to retire Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday in the 5th.
“If you look back a couple of years, what everybody talked about with Frankie was his defense,” Kluber said. “And he’s worked very hard and become a very good hitter. It’s not by accident. His defense is what got all the attention initially, but he’s turned himself into more than just a good defensive player.”
No movie will be written unless history is made on Wednesday afternoon.
But it might be time to get Michael B. Jordan on the horn.