What happened to Corey Kluber? That’s the question we were asking ourselves just a few short weeks ago, when the 2014 Cy Young Award winner was sitting with an 0-5 record to go along with a 5.04 ERA. Since then, Kluber, along with the rest of the Cleveland Indians, have turned things around in a big way.
Two weeks ago, the hottest team in baseball was in town, and things weren’t looking too good. The St. Louis Cardinals were in Cleveland for a three game series, and we were all thinking the same thing: “This is the LAST team we want to be facing right now.” The Tribe dropped the first game by a score of 8-3, but it was quickly forgotten. The next night, Kluber fanned a career-high 18 batters in a 2-0 Indians win. Out of all the unbelievable stats from that game, this one is the most impressive: Kluber was the 29th player in MLB history to strike out 18+ batters, and the first since 2004.
Thats more than 10 years since we’ve seen anything like that, not to mention he only allowed one hit in the game.
Since that historic outing, Kluber has been simply incredible. In his next start vs. the White Sox, he went nine innings with 12 K’s. Unfortunately, the Indians couldn’t string together some runs, as they lost the game in 10 innings. More times than not, if you give up one run in nine innings pitched, you’re going to end up on the winning side of things. On a more positive note, Kluber became the first pitcher with at least 30 K’s in two games since 2001. Kluber was heating up, but we were just hoping the rest of the team could do the same.
Lucky for us, they did. Since Kluber’s start vs. Chicago, the Indians haven’t lost a single game. The starting pitching has been phenomenal, and the offense has done their part. The Klubot got the start vs the Reds on Saturday in the second of three games in the series, and he showed us that he’s put his rough start to the year behind him for good. He went eight innings with one earned run and seven K’s, and earned the win thanks to a go-ahead RBI double by Jason Kipnis in the bottom of the 8th.
The Tribe went on to sweep the Reds on Sunday, winning their sixth game in a row, and their eight of the last ten. After a slow start to the year, this Indians team is finding their way, and it might be time to put any doubts we had behind us.