Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber has been named theAmerican League Player of the Week for the period ending September 21st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kluber's breakout season continues after another impressive week on the mound that has netted him his second career Player of the Week Award, previously winning for the period ending June 16, 2013. The right-hander is the fourth winner for the Tribe this season as he joins Michael Brantley (6/16), Jason Kipnis (7/21), and Carlos Santana (7/27). Corey went a perfect 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, three walks and a Major League-leading 28 strikeouts in 15.0 innings pitched. The Alabama native also led the league in innings and was tied for first in victories.
On Tuesday in Houston, Kluber allowed one run on seven hits and struck out a career-best 14 hitters over 7.0 innings as the Indians doubled up the Astros, 4-2, at Minute Maid Park. He issued just two free passes over the 110-pitch outing. Kluber became the seventh individual with at least 14 strikeouts in a game this season, falling just one shy of matching the highest single-game total in the Majors this season (15, three times). He also became the first Indians hurler with 14-or-more strikeouts in a single contest since Bartolo Colon (9.0 IP, 14 SO) against the Blue Jays on May 29, 1998 in Toronto. According to Elias, he is just the second pitcher in franchise history to do so in 7.0-or-fewer innings, joining "Sudden" Sam McDowell who had 14 strikeouts in 6.0 innings against the Detroit Tigers on September 18, 1966.
Adding to his feats, the 28-year-old recorded two strikeouts in each of his 7.0 innings pitched to become just the second pitcher in the Majors since 2008 to post at least 7.0 multi-strikeout innings in the same appearance, joining Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (7.0 of 8.0 IP, 17 strikeouts vs. Atlanta on April 26, 2013), according to Elias. The Stetson University product returned to the bump on Sunday and was equally impressive as the four-year veteran held Minnesota to a pair of runs on seven hits with 14 strikeouts in 8.0 innings to guide the Indians to a 7-2 triumph at Target Field. He is the ninth pitcher all-time (and the second Indian, joining McDowell who did it on two separate occasions in 1968) with at least 14 strikeouts in consecutive starts, with the last instance in the Majors coming in 2001 by Arizona's Randy Johnson. The win was Corey's
17th on the campaign, the most by a Cleveland hurler since Cliff Lee went 22-3 during his Cy Young Award-winning season in 2008, and it is the most by an Indians right-hander since Roberto Hernandez went 19-8 in 2007. The former fourth round Draft pick (by San Diego in 2007) has reached eight-or-more strikeouts in 20 starts this season, the fourth-most in Indians history for a single season. On the year, Kluber is 17-9 with a 2.53 ERA, one shutout, three complete games, 49 walks, and 258 strikeouts over 227.2 innings pitched in 33 starts.
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