Sure. Yes. It’s true.
But Kluber’s dominance on Sunday and his dancing two-seamers and his suddenly-potent changeup had just as much to do with the man on the mound as it did with his opponents.
After all, whether it was 2003 Miguel Cabrera or 2021 Miggy in the batter’s box, this sort of arsenal seemed impossible for Kluber to find as recently as a week ago.
This was as efficient as a baseball game can get — from both sides, in fact, as Jose Ureña torpedoed the Yankees in every inning but the second.
Kluber recorded 13 swings and misses on his devastating changeup, topping his previous career high of seven and lowering his ERA to 3.03 (no, really).
We have no idea where his season ends up, but we now know this is possible, and perhaps his slow start was simply mirroring his typical progress in previous seasons in Cleveland. Sunday’s outing definitely looked vintage.
Yankees starter Corey Kluber secured his 100th win in style Sunday.
Historically, Kluber’s ERA reduces itself every month of the summer before a slight raise in August. April is by far his worst month, featuring a 3.93 mark and a .500 overall record.
By May, the Bot’s numbers fall to 3.36, and by the time June and July come around, the 35-year-old is typically in lockstep, posting 2.92 and 2.67 marks.
Ignore the opponents for a minute (though, of course, it’s difficult to get the images of the Orioles and Tigers batters out of your head). Kluber’s stuff in his most recent outings has looked worlds better than anything he threw at the Rays and Blue Jays in his first few workout starts. Instead of living around the heart of the plate with cement mixers, he threw 6.2 excellent innings against the O’s (albeit while tossing a solid-not-great 62 strikes out of 96 pitches) before emerging against the Tigers as a fire-breather, dictating the entire outing with a wide variety of offspeed stuff.
Through eight innings, he never lost his edge. He never lived over the plate. He just executed his game plan flawlessly over the course of two inspiring hours.
Will Kluber be a bonafide No. 2 when October rolls around? We have no idea. Will he be able to fool hitters on superior offenses with dipping, diving changeups? If he came to play with Sunday’s stuff, probably, but we have no way to know for sure.
We did learn two things on Sunday, though: Kluber can still summon his very best stuff from time to time, and his career trends have held steady in his most recent two outings.