Rays starter Chris Archer pitched a good game against the Indians tonight–7.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. Unfortunately for Archer, he was in a pitching duel with Corey Kluber, aka The Klubot, aka CyKluber.
Corey Kluber made his last start of the 2014 season on Friday night, and he left no doubt as to why he ought to win the 2014 AL Cy Young Award. He pitched 8.0 shutout innings, struck out 11, and gave up five hits and only two walks. Perhaps it was because Kluber was on the mound, but the Indians offense took the night off. The Tribe’s lone run came on a 1st inning home run by Jose Ramirez (yes, little Jose Ramirez, hitting his second home run of the year). It wasn’t much, but that was all it took for the win.
On the season, Kluber has 18 wins, 269 strikeouts, 2.44 ERA, 6.9 WAR (more than any other AL pitcher). His 11 strikeouts tonight also helped the Indians set a new major league record for the most strikeouts by a pitching staff in a single season with 1,429. His 269 strikeouts this year rank 6th in Indians franchise history and are the most since Sam McDowell‘s 304 in 1970. He’s had 11 double-digit strikeout games this year–it’s the most by an Indians pitcher since Sam McDowell did it 13 times in 1968. By any standard, he’s having a historic season. As I write this, the Oakland A’s are ahead of the Texas Rangers 6-2. Part of the convoluted scenario that has to happen in order for the Indians to make it to a tiebreaker game for the 2nd Wild Card slot is for Texas to sweep Oakland. It would be a waste of a magnificent season if Kluber loses the AL Cy Young Award simply because his team doesn’t make it to the playoffs.
Thank you, Corey Kluber, for a fabulous season.