Over the course of his award-winning month, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner did not allow more than two earned runs in any outing. In Jake's first start of the month on August 2nd against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 31-year-old tossed 7.0 innings with eight strikeouts while permitting three hits, two walks and one earned run. The outing marked the 14th consecutive start in which he allowed six hits-or-fewer, the third-longest streak of his career. In addition, Arrieta tallied at least eight punchouts for the fourth time this season. The 2016 NL All-Star concluded his dominant month by not surrendering an earned run in either of his final two starts (August 24th at Cincinnati and August 29th vs. Pittsburgh). Following his final outing, in which Arrieta tossed 6.0 scoreless frames with four strikeouts and just two hits allowed, the Texas Christian University product enters the final month of the season with a 6-1 record and a 1.59 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the fourth consecutive season in which a Cubs pitcher posted an ERA of 1.60-or-lower over his first nine starts following the Midsummer Classic. Jake's rotation mate Kyle Hendricks, who finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting last season, compiled a 6-1 record with a 1.34 ERA in 2016. The Cubs, who won five of seven games in which Arrieta started in August, enter play today atop the NL Central with a 75-60 (.556) record.
Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 2.23 ERA, 32.1 IP, 27 SO) of the Washington Nationals; Kyle Davies (4-2, 2.06 ERA, 39.1 IP, 23 SO) and August's NL Reliever of the Month presented by the Hartford Corey Knebel (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 15 G, 13 SV) of the Milwaukee Brewers; and Dinelson Lamet (2-1, 2.54 ERA, 28.1 IP, 30 SO) of the San Diego Padres.
In six August starts, Kluber registered a 5-1 record with a 1.96 ERA and an impressive 54:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio en route to earning his third career AL Pitcher of the Month Award, and second of the 2017 season (also June). The 31-year-old veteran is the first hurler in the Majors this season to earn multiple monthly honors. The crafty right-hander allowed just 23 hits and two home runs across 46.0 innings of work. Among qualified AL starters, Kluber finished the period first in ERA and strikeouts, and tied for first in wins.
On Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies at Progressive Field, Kluber tossed his second consecutive complete game, and fourth of the season. In each of his previous two complete games (also August 3rd), the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner earned the win by compiling at least 10 strikeouts, and limiting the opposition to three hits-or-fewer and one walk-or-fewer. Since at least 1913, such a stat line has been produced in consecutive outings by just one other hurler - two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. In addition, following his Tuesday night outing, the two-time All-Star completed his fifth consecutive start since the All-Star break with at least 10 punchouts. According to Elias, since 1933, which was the first Major League season with an All-Star break, Corey is the only Major Leaguer to have accomplished that feat. Kluber followed up his historic first two starts of the month with his 11th win of the season on August 13th against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Stetson University product tossed 7.0 innings of three-run ball with nine strikeouts, recording at least eight punchouts for the 14th consecutive start. In 14 starts from June 1st - August 13th, Kluber went 8-1 with a 1.85 ERA and 151 strikeouts over 102.1 innings pitched, marking the first time in Indians lore that a hurler logged 150 strikeouts across 14 starts. Moreover, his streak of 14 starts with at least eight strikeouts was the longest single-season streak in the AL since 1893, and the third-longest single-season streak in MLB history behind Randy Johnson, who posted a pair of 15-game streaks for the Arizona Diamondbacks in both 1999 and 2000.
Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Corey's teammate Trevor Bauer (5-0, 2.31 ERA, 39.0 IP, 44 SO); Dylan Bundy (4-0, 2.00 ERA, 36.0 IP, 45 SO) of the Baltimore Orioles; and Justin Verlander (4-1, 2.36 ERA, 42.0 IP, 50 SO), who pitched his strong month of August with the Detroit Tigers prior to the trade that sent the six-time All-Star to the AL-West leading Houston Astros.
In recognition of their Pitcher of the Month Awards, Jake Arrieta and Corey Kluber will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for their accomplishments.