Kluber named the American League Pitcher of the Month

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for September.

Kluber compiled a 5-1 record with a 2.09 ERA, seven walks and a Major League-leading 56 strikeouts in 43.0 innings pitched over six starts to claim his first career Pitcher of the Month Award. His former teammate, Ubaldo Jimenez of the Baltimore Orioles, was the last hurler for Cleveland to take home the monthly pitching honor. Corey also recently received AL Player of the Week accolades on September 22nd. In addition to leading all of Baseball in strikeouts during the month, the right-hander tied for the league lead in starts, was third in innings and was 11th in ERA among pitchers with at least 24.1 innings pitched. Opponents batted .236 against the Alabama native during the month. 

Innings and strikeouts were the main theme for Kluber's award-winning month, a period which saw Corey go at least 7.0 innings in five of his six starts and reach double-digit strikeout totals on three occasions. On September 6th against the Chicago White Sox, the Stetson University product allowed one unearned run on five hits and struck out eight to notch his third complete game of the season in a 3-1 victory for the Tribe at Progressive Field. Corey did not issue any free passes in the 104-pitch effort. On the 16th, the former fourth round Draft pick (by San Diego in 2007) went 7.0
strong innings against Houston, holding the Astros to one run on seven hits with a career-best 14 strikeouts in a 4-2 triumph at Minute Maid Park. The performance made Corey the seventh individual with at least 14 strikeouts in a game this season, and he became the first Indians pitcher to do so since
Bartolo Colon turned the feat on May 29, 1998 in Toronto. In his next start on September 21st, Kluber once again fanned 14 over 8.0 innings in a 7-2 win over Minnesota at Target Field. He allowed a pair of runs on seven hits and walked one over 120 pitches in the triumph. With back-to-back 14-
strikeout outings, Kluber became the first Indian since "Sudden" Sam McDowell (twice) in 1968 to accomplish the feat and was the first in the Majors since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2001. In his final start of the season last Friday, Kluber stymied the Tampa Bay Rays over 8.0 shutout innings,
scattering five hits and striking out 11 as Cleveland edged the Rays, 1-0, at Progressive Field. It was Kluber's 18th win of the year, the most by an Indians pitcher since Cliff Lee went 22-3 during his 2008 AL Cy Young Award campaign, and it was the most by a Tribe right-hander since Roberto
Hernandez (19) in 2007.

Corey finished the year 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, three complete games, one shutout, 51 walks and 269 strikeouts in 235.2 innings pitched over 34 starts. He became just the fourth different AL pitcher over the last 20 seasons (since 1995) to reach the 18-win, 260-strikeout plateau with an ERA no
higher than 2.50, with the last occurrence coming when Boston's Pedro Martinez did so in his Cy Young-winning year of 2000. Among league leaders, Kluber was tied for first in wins and starts; was second in strikeouts; tied for second in complete games; and was third in innings, ERA, and strikeouts
per 9.0 innings pitched (10.273). 

Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included Kluber's Indians teammate Carlos Carrasco (2-3, 1.62 ERA, 27.1 IP); Seattle's Felix Hernandez (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 5 GS, 36 SO); tonight's AL Wild Card Game starting pitcher Jon Lester (3-2, 2.00 ERA, 36.0 IP, 8 BB, 34 SO) of the Oakland Athletics; Houston's Collin McHugh (4-0, 1.59 ERA, 1 BB, 25 SO); and Kansas City's Yordano Ventura (4-1, 1.62 ERA, 28 SO). 

The American League Pitcher of the Month, Corey Kluber, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.