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Corey Kluber sets a new Indians franchise record with his incredible month

May the force be with him.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Corey Kluber is on a roll. In his last four starts Kluber has thrown 32 innings and allowed only 5 runs. More impressively, he's recorded a staggering 50 strikeouts during that time, while walking only 2. The highest strikeout-to-walk ratio any pitcher in modern baseball history (from 1901 on) has ever finished a season with, when he had at least 32 innings pitched, is 18.33 (Dennis Eckersley in 1989); in Kluber's last 32 innings, he's at 25.00.

Those four starts have been so impressive, that even including his two subpar starts at the beginning of May, he's set a new franchise record for strikeout rate for a calendar month.

If that sounds familiar, it's because he did the same thing last May. Allow me to copy and paste the leader boards from that post, edited to include Kluber's recent stretch.

Top strikeout totals for a calendar month in franchise history:

  • 76 - Sam McDowell (May, 1968)
  • 71 - Sam McDowell (August, 1965)
  • 71 - Sam McDowell (May, 1970)
  • 70 - Bob Feller (June, 1946)
  • 67 - Sam McDowell (July, 1968)
  • 65 - Bob Feller (May, 1946)
  • 65 - Bob Feller (July, 1946)
  • 64 - Bob Feller (September, 1946)
  • 64 - Sam McDowell (May, 1965)
  • 64 - Sam McDowell (June, 1965)
  • 63 - Bob Feller (September, 1937)
  • 62 - Bob Feller (July, 1940)
  • 62 - Bob Feller (May, 1941)
  • 62 - Sam McDowell (August, 1969)
  • 61 - Herb Score (August, 1956)
  • 60 - Corey Kluber (May, 2014)
  • 60 - Corey Kluber (May, 2015)

That's four pitchers in franchise history who've reached 60 strikeouts in a month, and Kluber is the only one of them to do it since 1970, the only one of them to do it since the DH was introduced and the team went to a five-man rotation. When you consider that larger rotation, and the impact it has on a pitcher's opportunity to strike guys out, you may realize that looking at strikeout rate might be a better way to do it.

Highest strikeout rate for a calendar month in franchise history (min. 30 IP):
  1. 12.66 - Corey Kluber (May, 2015)
  2. 12.56 - Corey Kluber (May, 2014)
  3. 12.35 - Sam McDowell (September, 1966)
  4. 11.88 - Luis Tiant (May, 1967)
  5. 11.84 - Sam McDowell (May, 1965)
  6. 11.37 - Sam McDowell (June, 1965)
  7. 11.31 - Sam McDowell (July, 1968)
  8. 11.25 - Bob Feller (September, 1936)
  9. 11.21 - Sam McDowell (May, 1968)
  10. 11.14 - Sam McDowell (July, 1970)

Yes, Kluber now has the two highest strikeout rates among all the months in franchise history.

Kluber walked a few other batters in those first two starts in the month, giving him a total of 6 free passes in May. That's 60 strikeouts and only 6 walks. He is the only pitcher in franchise history to ever have so many strikeouts in a month with so few walks. He's only the seventh pitcher on any team to do that in baseball history, joining Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, Jim Kaat, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling (twice), and Clayton Kershaw. Pretty good company, wouldn't you say?

Corey Kluber? Yeah, he's alright.