Corey Kluber just had the greatest strikeout month in Indians history

Tom Szczerbowski

Tip your hat to the Klubot. He knows not why you cry, but he's been programmed to recognize gestures of respect.

Corey Kluber just finished an incredible month, which ought to win him the American League Pitcher of the Month Award (something only four Indians pitchers have done since it became an official honor in 2003). Kluber made 6 starts, with a 2.09 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He struck out 60 batters, which makes him only the fourth pitcher in franchise history to record 60+ strikeouts in a month.

Here are the top strikeout totals for a calendar month in franchise history:

  • 76 - Sam McDowell (May, 1968)
  • 71 - Sam McDowell (August, 1965)
  • 71 - Sam McDowell (May, 1970)
  • 70 - Bob Feller (June, 1946)
  • 67 - Sam McDowell (July, 1968)
  • 65 - Bob Feller (May, 1946)
  • 65 - Bob Feller (July, 1946)
  • 64 - Bob Feller (September, 1946)
  • 64 - Sam McDowell (May, 1965)
  • 64 - Sam McDowell (June, 1965)
  • 63 - Bob Feller (September, 1937)
  • 62 - Bob Feller (July, 1940)
  • 62 - Bob Feller (May, 1941)
  • 62 - Sam McDowell (August, 1969)
  • 61 - Herb Score (August, 1956)
  • 60 - Corey Kluber (May, 2014)

That's seven times apiece for McDowell and Feller, plus once by Score. As you can see, Kluber is the first Tribe pitcher to do it since 1970, which means he's the only one to do it since the DH was implemented in 1973. Kluber is also the only Tribe pitcher to do it while working as part of a five-man rotation. Obviously a pitcher will make more starts when there are only four guys taking turns, and so another way to rate Kluber's dominance is to look at strikeouts per nine innings pitched (K/9).

Here are the top K/9 calendar months in franchise history (min 30 IP):

  1. 12.56 - Corey Kluber (May, 2014)
  2. 12.35 - Sam McDowell (September, 1966)
  3. 11.88 - Luis Tiant (May, 1967)
  4. 11.84 - Sam McDowell (May, 1965)
  5. 11.37 - Sam McDowell (June, 1965)
  6. 11.31 - Sam McDowell (July, 1968)
  7. 11.25 - Bob Feller (September, 1936)
  8. 11.21 - Sam McDowell (May, 1968)
  9. 11.14 - Sam McDowell (July, 1970)
  10. 11.11 - Ubaldo Jimenez (September, 2013)

That's right, on a rate basis, Corey Kluber just had the greatest strikeout month in Indians history.

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