This is becoming old hat by this point, but Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber turned in yet another masterful performance on Thursday night, carrying a perfect game through six and one-third innings, earning himself a no-decision. Per Elias, it was the deepest into a game that any Cleveland starting pitcher had gone without allowing a base-runner since Len Barker pitched his perfect game for the Indians against Toronto on May 15, 1981.
All of Kluber’s pitches were working on Thursday, but he had the most success with his off-speed and breaking balls. Royals “hitters” were 0-for-16 in at-bats ending with his breaking balls, including eight of his 10 strikeouts.
Kluber, who somehow missed out on being an All-Star, went nine innings, allowing no earned runs, striking out 10 and walking none, making him just the fourth pitcher in the last 20 seasons to reach all of those marks in a no-decision.
Coming in to the season as the team’s second starter (behind Justin Masterson), Kluber now ranks third in all of baseball (among pitchers) with a WAR of 4.3—only Felix Hernandez and John Lester have provided more wins through the duration of the entire season—doing so with a marriage of location and deception. He’s thrown his fastball just 52.8 percent of the time through 2014.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Kluber is the only pitcher this season with a double-digit strikeout game against the Royals, who entered the day with a 15.6 strikeout rate—by far the lowest in the major leagues. Oh, about that fastball…
He’s second in the game when it comes to FIP, among pitchers with at least 120 innings, carrying a mark of 2.59 . He’s fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.76). Of the pitchers in the top five in FIP, Kluber has been the unluckiest, boasting an BABiP of .316. Felix Hernandez has a BABiP of .267.
Corey Kluber is a badass. Pop that collar, brother.