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Corey Kluber strikes out 18--EHC Podcast 17

(Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
You can probably count on one or two hands the times a sporting event truly was worthy of the term buzzworthy. Wednesday night was certainly one of those special occasions.

Corey Kluber struck out 18 batters.

Kluber understands "historical events," as the Indians' right-handed ace decimating the American League in 2014 on his way to a seemingly out-of-nowhere Cy Young award. He parlayed being named the American League's best pitcher by signing a five-year, $38.5 million extension that will keep in in Cleveland until 2019, with club options in both 2020 and 2021.

His start to 2015 was anything but "Cy Young-worthy" when you looked at the obvious numbers. Entering Wednesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Kluber was 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA.

Not good.

But there were signs that Kluber wasn't pitching as badly as his surface stats would indicate. EHC's Mike Hattery discussed this at length in a piece written prior to Kluber's latest start.
"...every peripheral statistic has Kluber performing as a really good pitcher once again....In 2015, Corey Kluber has pitched well, controlled the strike zone among the best in the league, has limited base runners and continues to demonstrate dominant strikeout-inducing stuff."
Kluber's FIP (3.20) and xFIP (3.16) pre-Wednesday clearly indicated a pitcher that was showcasing some pretty special stuff, but running into some pretty unlucky situations. This isn't to say that there weren't imperfections, but Kluber wasn't far off from his Cy Young self in his early season "struggles."

The Cardinals really didn't have a chance.

Two Redbirds reached base. Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch in the first inning, and Jhonny Peralta singled in the seventh, which ended his no-hit bid. The great Bill James created the Game Score method, which rewards pitchers for outs, completed innings and strikeouts, while subtracting points for hits, earned and unearned runs, and walks. Each pitcher starts with 50.

Kluber's Game Score was 98, in eight innings, with one hit, without a walk, and 18 K's. The only way you were touching Kluber is if you got hit by a pitch, or were some former Indian hell-bent on continuing the trend of former Tribe-hands that come back to haunt their former team.

Just to give you some historic perspective, Kluber's score is the highest ever recorded in a game that's gone less than nine innings.

The highest score...ever.

Mike Hattery and Jim Pete discuss Kluber's outstanding 18 K performance, touch upon what it means for the Indians going forward, and also take a quick look at the bullpen, Jason Kipnis, and a rotation that really could lead this baseball team back to respectability, and beyond.

Here's the audio:


Here's the video:

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