ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The name Corey Kluber is synonymous with strikeouts, wicked pitch movement, and a cerebral, almost robotic calmness on the mound.
But during Sunday’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays, Kluber gave up an RBI single to Evan Longoria in the 3rd inning, and his frustration became visible to all. The usually stone-faced righty reminded fans that he is human after all, stunning the television audience when cameras caught him visibly sighing after allowing a run.
“I just have to apologize to my fans and teammates for that,” Kluber said when asked about the blow-up by reporters after the game. “I try to hold myself to certain standards, and certainly nobody should have to see that.”
Kluber said loud music outside his hotel room in the middle of the night combined with a sore throat put him in a bad mood leading up to Sunday’s start. Manager Terry Francona noted that he could tell Kluber wasn’t himself when he actually smiled at a joke Francona made.