CLEVELAND -- Ask Corey Kluber about his strikeout exploits, and his reply will usually be preceded by a shrug. The Indians' ace will explain that the win is all that matters, and all the numbers he compiles in the process are just the byproduct of making good pitches.
In the wake of Thursday's 5-1 victory over the Yankees, who were stifled by Kluber in his third complete game this season -- and the 13th of his career -- the pitcher broke from his usual script. Told that he did something that only Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan had previously accomplished, Kluber did not shrug. For a brief moment, he let it sink in that his name joined an extremely elite class.
Kluber joined Johnson (four times), Martinez (twice) and Ryan (once) as the only pitchers since at least 1913 to record at least eight strikeouts in 12 or more games in a row. Johnson last achieved the feat in 17 straight games between the 1999 and 2000 campaigns. Johnson was also the last to do so within the confines of one season (15 in '99).