During the shortened 2020 season, Corey Kluber lasted just one inning before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. On Saturday, he made his first appearance for the New York Yankees in their 5-3 win versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
“There’s that anticipation for every first start of the season,” Kluber said. “Every start honestly throughout the year, I think there’s that level of anticipation the days building up to it.“
Kluber exited the game after four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out five.
In the first inning, an infield single and shallow single to left field left the Yankees in early trouble. A double play and two-out strikeout against Teoscar Hernandez showcased Kluber’s ability to remain poised.
Two innings later, Kluber struggled to find command of the strike zone. A throwing error by Sanchez resulted in Toronto’s first run of the game. A lead-off home run in the fifth inning from Marcus Semien forced the Yankees to call upon Jonathan Loaisiga in relief.
The 34-year old was coming off four Grapefruit League starts in which he totaled 73 pitches in his final appearance. While there were times in which he struggled in Spring Training, Kluber remained healthy.
New York and Kluber agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract in January. He faced a Blue Jays lineup that totaled two runs on five hits and two walks on Thursday against Gerrit Cole.
“First and foremost, they’re a young team with a lot of really talented hitters,” Kluber said. “Throughout their entire lineup, they have good hitters.”