Indians' workhorse Kluber ready to saddle up for Game 7

By Steve Keating CLEVELAND (Reuters) - At a time when pitchers are pampered like thoroughbreds Corey Kluber is an old-fashioned workhorse for the Cleveland Indians and will carry the load in a decisive Game Seven in the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. With pitchers' pitch counts strictly monitored and the time off between starts logged and rarely deviated from, Kluber is a throwback to another era when the man on the mound worked as long as needed or until his arm fell off. Just nine pitchers have won three starts in a single World Series and none since the Detroit Tigers Mickey Lolich went 3-0 in 1968. Kluber could add his name to that list on Wednesday. For the second time in this World Series, Indians manager Terry Francona will send his ace onto the mound on three days' rest, something Kluber had never done before in his six-year Major League Baseball career until this postseason. "I think good players, good pitchers can do special things," said Francona. "He's in that category. "I mean, we don't have the market cornered. There's some pretty good players and teams out there but it was kind of an easy decision after talking to him (Kluber)." Kluber has been so special that he has moved to the top of the World Series most valuable player conversation. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 0.89 ERA in five postseason starts, including a 6-0 win in Game One of the World Series and a 7-2 Game Four decision. One advantage Kluber will have over Cubs starter Kyle Hendrickson is he will be pitching at home, a perk he had a hand in securing as the winning pitcher in July's All-Star Game that earned the American League home-field advantage for the World Series. "I never connected those dots at that point in time," said Kluber. "Obviously looking back now the American League did win the All-Star Game, so we have the opportunity to have home-field advantage in the World Series ... hopefully that works in our favor." History is certainly working in Cleveland's favour. The Indians won the first game of the series, which was a very good omen since 12 of the last 13 Game One winners went on to take the Fall Classic. The Cubs arrived at Progressive Field on Tuesday trailing in a World Series 3-2 for the fifth time and each of the previous four instances ending in defeat. "This is the ultimate dream," said Hendricks. "You dream of getting to the World Series, winning the World Series. "When you're out in your backyard as a kid, playing Little League at the field with your friends, this is the moment you dream about." (Editing by xxxxxxxxxxxxx)