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December 2018
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Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber named AL Pitcher of the Month for September


Corey Kluber Indians (2013 photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons)


Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for September, and for the second consecutive month, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for September.

In six September starts, Kluber registered a 5-0 record with a 0.84 ERA and an impressive 50:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio en route to earning his fourth career AL Pitcher of the Month Award, and third of the 2017 season (also: June and August). The 31-year-old veteran is the only hurler in the Majors this season to earn three Pitcher of the Month Awards, and is the first pitcher to accomplish the feat since Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros during his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 season. The crafty right-hander allowed just 31 hits and three home runs across 43.0 innings of work. Among qualified AL starters, Kluber finished the period first in ERA and innings pitched, tied for first in wins and second in strikeouts.

In his start on September 12th against the Tigers at Progressive Field, Kluber tossed a complete-game shutout to lead the Tribe to their 20th consecutive victory. With the five-hit shutout, the two-time AL All-Star improved to 16-4 on the season. According to Elias, the Stetson University product became the third Indians hurler over the last 65 years to notch at least 16 wins across their first 20 decisions in a season, joining Cliff Lee (2005, 08) and Charles Nagy (1996). On September 17th against the Kansas City Royals, Kluber tossed 7.0 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and just three hits allowed to propel the Indians to their second consecutive AL Central title. Per Elias, with the outing, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner became the third pitcher in Club history to post multiple 250-strikeout campaigns (also 2014), joining ‘Sudden’ Sam McDowell (1965, 68-70) and Hall of Famer Bob Feller (1940-41, 46). With the victory, Cleveland became the third team in MLB history to notch 24 wins across 25 games, joining the 1916 New York Giants, who established the Major League record with 26 consecutive victories in 1916, as well as the 1977 Kansas City Royals. On September 24th against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, the Birmingham, Alabama native did not allow an earned run over 7.0 innings, while tallying 10 strikeouts. The dominant outing marked Kluber’s 15th start of the season with at least 10 punchouts, matching Max Scherzer for the second-most such games across the Majors this season. Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox recorded 18 games with at least 10 strikeouts to pace the Majors. In Indians lore, Kluber’s 15 such starts are the second-most in a single season, trailing only McDowell, who posted 17 double-digit strikeout starts in 1965.

Six-time All-Star Justin Verlander (5-0, 1.06 ERA, 34.0 IP, 43 SO) also posted a strong month of September during his first month as a member of the Houston Astros. The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner did not allow more than two earned runs in any start, recording at least 6.0 innings in each outing to lead the Astros to a win in each game he started. Over an eight-start stretch dating back to August 20th, Verlander finished his strong 2017 campaign by winning each of his seven decisions with a 1.31 ERA and 69 strikeouts (nine walks) across 55.0 innings pitched. Corey’s teammate Carlos Carrasco (5-0, 1.48 ERA, 42.2 IP, 51 SO) received votes as well, finishing the season with career-bests in innings pitched (200.0), strikeouts (226) and wins (18).

In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, Stephen Strasburg and Corey Kluber will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.