Corey Kluber continues to show he belongs among Tribe’s elite
On Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber pitched what, at least for him, was a routine outing.
Kluber went seven innings and allowed just one run, marking his 13th consecutive quality start this season. (A quality start is defined as allowing three earned runs or less in at least six innings of work.)
Kluber has been so consistent for so long that a start like the one he posted against the Brewers has almost come to be expected by Tribe fans. Kluber goes out, quietly works over the opposing lineup and, seven or so innings later, calmly walks off the mound after another job well done.
If he continues on his current pace, Kluber will make approximately 32 starts this season, which projects to him finishing the year with 22 wins, a 1.85 ERA, 248 strikeouts and just 26 walks (based on 238 innings of work). If he does that, Kluber might very well walk away with his third Cy Young award.
Those numbers are impressive, and they got us wondering about how they stack up to a pair of other dominant seasons from pitchers in franchise history.
First up is Bob Feller in 1946, who made 37 quality starts in the 42 games he started that season. Feller completed 36 games – truly it was a different game back then – threw 371 innings with 10 shutouts, struck out 348 and posted an ERA of 2.18.
Next is Luis Tiant in 1968. In what became known as the Year of the Pitcher, Tiant worked 258.1 innings, finishing with a record of 21-9 while striking out 264 and walking 73. Tiant also had 27 quality starts out of the 32 games he started, and tossed nine shutouts – including four consecutive shutouts from April 28 through May 12.
Finally, there was Gaylord Perry in 1972, the year he won the Cy Young. In a throwback to Feller, Perry made 41 starts, completing 29 of them, and recorded 33 quality starts. In 342.2 innings of work, Perry struck out 234, tossed five shutouts and finished with a record of 24-16 and an ERA of 1.92 for a Tribe team that finished 72-84.
Which is all a long way of saying that what Kluber is doing every turn through the rotation puts him in some pretty exalted company.
(Photos via cleveland.com and si.com)