The Cleveland Indians starting pitching has been dominant and consistent over the last few seasons but on Saturday night, they made a historic mark that has never been done in the history of baseball.
When Mike Clevinger struck out Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second inning, the Cleveland Indians became the first team in major league history to have four pitchers with 200 strikeouts or more in one season.
- Carlos Carrasco: 217 strikeouts
- Trevor Bauer: 215 strikeouts
- Corey Kluber: 205 strikeouts
- Mike Clevinger: 202 strikeouts
As a whole, the Indians starters have 1,018 strikeouts which is second in Major League Baseball behind Houston who broke the record last night for strikeouts by a starting rotation with 1,069 strikeouts. The previous holder was the 2017 Indians with 1,066 strikeouts.
To have four starters who have been dominant at striking out batters all season despite injuries and at times poor performances, you have to sit back and enjoy what you’re watching as an Indians fan because we possibly won’t see anything like this again.
Credit goes to the front office as well as the coaching staff, all four pitchers rose through the ranks of Cleveland’s farm system after being acquired from other teams in trades.
Carrasco was the center piece of the Cliff Lee trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.
Bauer was the center piece of the three-team trade with Arizona and Cincinnati in 2012.
Kluber was acquired from San Diego in the three-team trade that the Indians sent Jake Westbrook to St. Louis in 2010.
Clevinger was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for Vinny Pestano in 2014.
Whether it was Mickey Callaway or Carl Willis as the Indians pitching coach, they all have squeezed out the potential and the best in each pitcher and has put the rotation up with Boston and Houston as among the best in baseball.
Add rookie Shane Bieber in the mix who has had a solid rookie season going 10-5 with a 4.80 ERA and 109 strikeouts to 21 walks in 18 starts, you feel really good about this rotation for the next several seasons which will keep the Indians in contention.
It’ll be interesting to see how manager Terry Francona will utilize these arms in the playoffs.
He has told reporters that he wants to use a four-man rotation and the ideas have been thrown out about using Bauer or Clevinger as bullpen arms but you have to feel good about the bullpen right now with Andrew Miller, Brad Hand, Cody Allen, and Oliver Perez as your top guys coming out of the pen.
Bieber was used Friday night out of the pen when Bauer only pitched two innings in his first start off the disabled list so it’s possible Francona and Willis are still tinkering with scenarios for the postseason.