Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber, a key part of the Club's American League-record 22-game winning streak, has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending September 17th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kluber went 2-0 without allowing a run over 16.0 innings pitched to earn his fourth career AL Player of the Week Award and his second of the 2017 season, previously winning for the period ending June 25th. Corey struck out 17 batters without issuing a free pass and permitted just eight hits in two dominant starts last week. Among qualified AL hurlers, Kluber finished his strong week first in innings pitched, tied for first in ERA and second in strikeouts. Additionally, the 31-year-old delivered his third complete-game shutout of the 2017 campaign on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers (also: April 21st and June 19th). This is Cleveland's fourth weekly award this season, including his previous honor, as well as a pair of awards for his All-Star teammate José Ramírez (June 18th & September 3rd).
In his Tuesday start against the Tigers at Progressive Field, Kluber tossed a complete-game shutout to lead the Tribe to their 20th consecutive victory. With the five-hit shutout, the two-time AL All-Star improved to 16-4 on the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Stetson University product became the third Indians hurler over the last 65 years to notch at least 16 wins across their first 20 decisions in a season, joining Cliff Lee (2005, 08) and Charles Nagy (1996). In his second start of the week on Sunday afternoon at home against the Kansas City Royals, Kluber tossed 7.0 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and just three hits allowed to propel the Indians to their second consecutive AL Central title. The nine-punchout performance was his 17th of the season with at least that many strikeouts, and Kluber enters play today with 252 on the season. Per Elias, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner became the third pitcher in Club history to post multiple 250-strikeout campaigns (also 2014), joining 'Sudden' Sam McDowell (1965, 68-70) and Hall of Famer Bob Feller (1940-41, 46). With the victory on Sunday, Cleveland became the third team in MLB history to notch 24 wins across 25 games, joining the 1916 New York Giants, who established the Major League record with 26 consecutive victories in 1916, as well as the 1977 Kansas City Royals.
Three-time All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson (.462, 8 R, 5 HR, 7 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays also posted a strong week. Following a weekend in which he clubbed four home runs, Donaldson enters play today with 30 round-trippers on the season, reaching the 30-homer milestone for the third consecutive year. Other noteworthy performances last week included six-time All-Star Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 19 SO) of the Houston Astros; outfielder Eddie Rosario (.417, 7 R, 5 HR, 1.083 SLG) of the Minnesota Twins; All-Star outfielder Avisaíl García (.500, 15 H, 10 RBI, 19 TB) of the Chicago White Sox; and starting pitcher Matt Boyd (1-1, 0.64 ERA, 1 CG SHO, 10 SO) of the Detroit Tigers, who finished his outstanding start yesterday against the White Sox one out shy of his first career no-hitter.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Corey Kluber will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.