There is a popular saying that has been going around baseball circles for years: “Good pitching beats good hitting, anyday”. Those six words have never rang more true than this MLB season. New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber kept the 2021 theme of dominant pitching by no-hitting the Texas Rangers on May 19 (mlb.com).
Kluber became the first man in pinstripes to throw a no-no since David Cone threw a perfect game back in 1999. The two-time American League Cy Young Award winner proved that even at 35 years of age, he still has knee-buckling type of stuff on the mound. Many MLB scouts had worried that Kluber’s best days were behind him due to multiple injuries the last couple of seasons.
Throwing the no-hitter against the Rangers had to make the experience all the more special for Kluber. The 6-4, 215 pounder was only able to pitch one inning for Texas during the pandemic shortened 2020 campaign. It was sweet revenge for Kluber, as the Rangers handed out his bobblehead from 2020 as their promotional giveaway to fans on Wednesday night.
Kluber had superior control of all of his pitches the entire historic evening. In fact, the only blemish on Kluber’s stat line was a walk he issued to Charlie Culberson in the third inning. The Birmingham Alabama native threw only 30 balls out of his 101 total pitches. Kluber also struck out nine Rangers hitters, most of which with his devastating curveball.
Corey Kluber’s Career Achievements
In addition to his fantastic start to the 2021 season, here are a few more of Kluber’s impressive pitching accomplishments:
- Twice named Cy Young Award Winner in 2014 and 2017
- Three-time American League All Star: 2016, 2017, 2018
- Finished 7th in MVP voting in 2017
- Lowest Earned Run Average in the AL for 2017
- Won 20 games in 2018 for the Cleveland Indians
- 102 career wins
- Over 1,500 career strikeouts
- Led Indians to American League Championship in 2016
What’s with All the No-Nos This Season?
Kluber’s no-hitter was the sixth in the big leagues so far this season. Most MLB hitters seem to look a bit lost at the plate this year, or maybe the pitchers are just that sharp after the shortened season of 2020. Regardless of the reason, the 2021 MLB season may be remembered as the year of the no-no.
The MLB all-time record for no-hitters in a season is almost a cinch to be broken this year. The all-time record is eight, but that happened way back in 1884. The modern day record for no-hitters in a season is seven, and that has occurred four different times (1990, 1991, 2012, 2015).
While some MLB fans may be thirsting for some more exciting offensive production, for old school baseball purists the dominant pitching is a breath of fresh air. Sure, watching a titanic three-run bomb is thrilling. However, seeing a no-hitter causes an adrenaline surge like no other.