Corey Kluber threw a complete game tonight, allowing just three baserunners while striking out 11. He became the third pitcher in history to strike out eight batters or more in 13 consecutive starts. (Hello, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson and no one else ever.) And he very nearly lost.
One of the three hits that the Rockies managed against Kluber tonight was a lead-off home run by Charlie Blackmon. That put Cleveland in a 1-0 hole that they just couldn’t climb out out of—until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Colorado closer Greg Holland unraveled, walking two before allowing Austin Jackson to knock in the tying run and Yan Gomes to send everybody home with a walk-off homer.
Since returning from the disabled list in June, Kluber has been near unstoppable. Entering today, he boasted a 1.77 ERA from the time of his first start back in June, with peripheral figures that indicate he’s still been better than that. More than 40 percent of his plate appearances have been strikeouts. Fewer than five percent have been walks. (That’s a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost nine to one.) Almost enough to get him to crack a smile.