Kluber joins elite company with gem over KC
KANSAS CITY -- After watching right-hander Corey Kluber warm up before a start, pitching coach Mickey Callaway always returns to the dugout to give a brief report to manager Terry Francona. Callaway was particularly excited about what he saw prior to Thursday's game against the Royals.
"I almost feel like he's going to throw a no-hitter every time," Callaway said. "Tito always asks, and I said, 'He's going to be pretty good tonight.' It was evident."
Though he ended up with a no-decision in Cleveland's 2-1, 14-inning loss to Kansas City, Kluber turned in a spectacular performance. He was charged with one unearned run in nine innings, scattering a pair of hits and finishing with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
He carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before Omar Infante stroked a fastball into center field for a one-out single.
Francona is no longer surprised when the leader of his rotation spins such a gem.
"He has that capability," Francona said. "You're not going to see that every time out -- that's impossible -- but that was pretty special stuff."
Following are some nuggets from Kluber's latest outing.
• Kluber mowed through 19 batters before yielding the first of two hits, marking the deepest into a game an Indians pitcher went without allowing a baserunner since Len Barker's perfect game against the Blue Jays on May 15, 1981.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kluber became the first Cleveland pitcher to carry a perfect game into the seventh since Charles Nagy did so against the Royals on April 22, 1991. Kansas City's Jim Eisenreich doubled to open the seventh in that one.
• Kluber became only the fourth pitcher in the past 20 seasons to pick up a no-decision after working at least nine innings with at least 10 strikeouts and no earned runs or walks allowed. The others are Oakland's Mark Mulder (Sept. 17, 2002, with Oakland), Cliff Lee (July 27, 2010, with Texas) and the Mets' Matt Harvey (May 7, 2013).
• Kluber became the first Cleveland pitcher to earn a no-decision after logging at least nine innings with 10 or more strikeouts and no walks since Pedro Ramos on Sept. 17, 1963, against the Yankees.
• According to baseball-reference.com, Kluber joins Seattle's Randy Johnson (Sept. 16, 1992) and Harvey (May 7, 2013) as the only pitchers in the past 100 seasons to have a no-decision after working at least nine innings with at least 10 strikeouts and no more than two baserunners allowed.
• Over the past 100 seasons, only four pitchers have had a no-decision with at least nine innings logged, at least 10 strikeouts, no walks and no more than two hits allowed. That list includes Kluber, Harvey (May 7, 2013), Seattle's Erik Hanson (Aug. 1, 1990) and the Dodgers' Bill Singer (June 4, 1969).
• Kluber is the only pitcher to enjoy a double-digit-strikeout showing against the Royals this season, and he's achieved that feat three times. He joins Johnson (1992) and Nolan Ryan (1973 and '89) as the only pitchers to have three double-digit-strikeout games against Kansas City in one season.
• Kluber is now the only Indians pitcher in the past 100 seasons to have at least five starts in one season with at least 10 strikeouts and no more than one walk issued. The previous mark, four, was set by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in 1976.
• Kluber's six double-digit-strikeout showings in 2014 are the most by an Indians pitcher in one season since Bartolo Colon had six such outings in 2000. Eckersley is the last to have at least seven for Cleveland (eight in 1976).
• Kluber now has nine starts this season consisting of at least eight strikeouts and no more than one walk issued. That equals a club record, which was first set by left-hander CC Sabathia during his 2007 American League Cy Young Award-winning season.