Reigning American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber struck out 18 batters in a dominating performance against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
The Cleveland Indians ace threw an absolute gem in an eight-inning outing, giving up just one hit and zero walks while throwing 113 pitches.
Kluber didn’t yield a hit until Jhonny Peralta nailed a single up the middle with two outs in the seventh inning.
Coming into the game with a substandard 0-5 record, Kluber stifled the Cardinals throughout. His fastball continually hit the mid-90’s, as the ace kept St. Louis hitters off balance in what was the first 18-strike out performance in the American League since Roger Clemens in 1998. That’s some mighty fine company.
Kluber struck out 10 during an 11-batter stretch between the third and fifth innings. Overall, eight different Cardinals hitters struck out multiple times.
It didn’t come without some controversy. Kluber hit Matt Holliday in the left elbow in the first inning—an incident that prompted Cardinals starter John Lackey to retaliate by hitting Jason Kipnis in the fourth inning. After home plate umpire Mike Everitt issued warnings to each side, Indians manager Terry Francona came out to argue and was promptly ejected from the game.
Unfortunately for Kluber only 12,000-plus fans were on hand at Progressive Field to see the dominating performance.
Photo: USA Today Sports