Five Memorable Moments of Corey Kluber’s Career with the Indians
Corey Kluber has been one of the most popular Indians on the roster over a good part of the last decade, but now he will wear the uniform of the Texas Rangers, who acquired Kluber from the Tribe early Sunday afternoon.
Kluber will be remembered for coming up as a big regular season pitcher who at times was dominant, winning a pair of Cy Young awards for the Indians in 2014 and 2017. He was also a huge part of the Indians World Series run in 2016, but sadly will be remembered for his game seven outing against the Cubs in which he just didn’t have his best stuff in an eventual heart-breaking loss for the Indians.
His final season with the Indians saw him only start seven games, and it became more about his injury when he was hit in Miami in the hand by a line drive, and while he came close, he was never able to make it back to the mound for the Indians in a year in which they fell short of making the playoffs.
There were plenty of great moments with Kluber on the mound for the Indians, and today we take a look at those as fans come to grips that Kluber won’t be around when the team takes the field in 2020.
Here’s a list of ‘Five Memorable Moments of Corey Kluber’s Career with the Indians,’ enjoy!
The First Win
Indians fans didn’t know a lot about Kluber when he was a callup to the big league roster in 2012, but they quickly came to know what he was about as he made 12 starts in his rookie year from August 2 till the end of the season.
His first win came against the AL Central rival Tigers on September 3 in Detroit, in which he went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk and four K’s. That first season with the Indians Kluber went just 2-5 with a 5.14 ERA, but there was no doubt the best was yet to come.
Round Into Form
2013 saw Kluber surprise many with a mark of 11-5 for the Indians, this after winning just two games in his 2012 rookie campaign. He also started to become a fan favorite in 2013, and maybe his most impressive outing came at Progressive Field in mid-June against the Washington Nationals.
Kluber recorded his first Major League complete game shutout, going eight innings against the Nats, allowing seven hits, no runs, with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The Sunday afternoon affair saw the over 21,000 fans on the edge of their seats cheering for Kluber as the Indians pulled out a 2-0 victory. It was one of many great Kluber outings to come at Progressive Field.
A September to Remember
Kluber’s 2014 was excellent, and he came into September in the hunt for the American League Cy Young award, but it was that month that put him on another level that saw many nationally finally realize just how good Kluber was.
That month started actually with a loss to the Detroit Tigers in which he was slammed, going just 2.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits in an eventual 12-1 loss. That was the last time Kluber would suffer a loss in 2014.
The next five outings Kluber was dominant, as he went 5-0 as he recorded two shutouts giving up five earned runs in five games. Over the last three games that season he gave up three runs on 19 hits in 23 innings, striking out 39 batters.
Shortly after that he took home his first piece of hardware when he was named the 2014 American League Cy Young award winner.
Burying the Birds
It was Kluber’s eighth start of 2015, and little could anyone have predicted it would have been the most memorable of his career to that point.
At Progressive Field against the St.Louis Cardinals, Kluber pitched a masterpiece in a 2-0 shutout victory, a game in which he was nearly unhittable.
The 12,313 were in for a treat as Kluber not only recorded a one-hit shutout, he also struck out 18 batters in the victory.
The only hit for St.Louis came off the bat of former Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the 7th inning with two outs. He had struck out the first two batters of the inning and after the single struck out the Jason Heyward to end the frame.
Of the nine innings pitched Kluber struck out more than one batter in seven of them, and struck out the side three times in the win.
It was the first win of the season for Kluber who coming off the Cy Young struggled and began the season with a mark of 0-5.
The Amazing Run in 2016
Many people when you talk about the Indians payoff run in 2016 will remember Kluber’s tough outing in game seven against the Chicago Cubs, but little do people remember the incredible run Kluber had to get the team to that point.
Kluber recorded wins in nine of his last 12 starts, suffering just one loss which came on September 6th against the Houston Astros.
Then in the playoffs he continued to dominate, as he beat the Red Sox and Blue Jays in his first two starts. He was on the losing end of the only game that the Jays won in the ALCS, but from there he shut down the Cubs in the World Series.
Kluber won games one and four, allowing one run on 12 hits in nine innings of work, walking one and striking out 15.
He would have been the World Series MVP if he would have thrown well in game seven, but clearly out of gas Kluber struggled, as he went four innings allowing four runs on six hits giving up a pair of homers.
Despite the tough outing, Kluber was at his peak during the end of the 2016 regular season as well as into the posteason, something many Tribe fans won’t soon forget.