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Cleveland Indians rotation continues to make strikeout history

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The 2018 Cleveland Indians made history with their third pitcher with 200 strikeouts last night but are on verge of a fourth to reach the historic mark.

In 2017, the Cleveland Indians rotation and pitching staff was one of the most historic staffs in baseball history. They had arguably a top five bullpen in history, their staff set the Major League record for most strikeouts in a season, and they became the first team to have five starting pitchers throw at least 100 innings and average 10 or more strikeouts per nine innings.

So what do they do for an encore? They make history once again that’s what!

Tuesday night, the Cleveland Indians became only the fourth team in Major League Baseball history to have three pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in the same season. Corey Kluber reached the mark last night with his 11 strikeout performance giving him 205 on the season. Kluber joined fellow starters Trevor Bauer (214 strikeouts) and Carlos Carrasco (206) in the 200-strikeout club.

The 2018 Indians have joined the 1967 Minnesota Twins, 1969 Houston Astros, and 2013 Detroit Tigers as the only teams to accomplish that feat. Quite a season wouldn’t you say?

However, this is just the beginning…you see, the Indians are all but certainly going to become the first team in baseball history to have FOUR pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in the same season. Mike Clevinger is sitting at 196 strikeouts with a week and a half to go in the season.

Clevinger is likely to get at least two more appearances this season, meaning something would have to go very wrong for him not to reach the 200-strikeout plateau. In fact, I’d wager he reaches the mark in his next start this weekend versus the Boston Red Sox (well, assuming he does start this weekend and isn’t given extra rest).

If you’ve followed the Indians the last few years, this accomplishment may not seem too surprising. It’s seemed like more a matter of time than a question of they could do it. The Indians just missed last year on having three pitchers reach the mark, with Trevor Bauer falling just short (196 strikeouts) of joining Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (265) and Carlos Carrasco (226).

And not to brag (too much), but a certain Believeland Ball writer may have called the Indians making history this year before the season began…

Really the only thing that was going to stop the Indians this year would have been injuries. Danny Salazar missing the whole year made one wonder if it wouldn’t happen but Clevinger more than stepped up.

Bauer’s injury thankfully came after he already reached the mark and Kluber and Carrasco have been able to avoid any major injuries as well (despite Carrasco remaining a human dart board on the mound).

The next question on my mind is, can the Cleveland Indians go one step further and possibly have FIVE pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts in 2019?! It seems unimaginable but who knows, Danny Salazar has been on 200 strikeout pace a few times in his career and Shane Bieber has 108 strikeouts in 104 innings, giving him a legit shot at the mark if he can get enough innings.

In any case, what a time to be an Indians fan and what an insanely great rotation the club has put together. We may never see something like this again in our lifetimes.

So of all the historical firsts or records the Cleveland Indians pitching staff has accomplished or set in the last couple years, what was your personal favorite? Was it the 2017 strikeout record? The 2017 bullpen? The 2018 pitching staff?

Indians History: Remembering The Streak (Week 4). dark. Next

Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to follow closely in the coming days to witness when Mike Clevinger and the Indians make history once again.