Indians set all-time strikeout record for a pitching staff

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Corey Kluber’s eighth-inning strikeout of Rays DH David DeJesus notched his third consecutive double-digit strikeout start and it helped the Indians set the all-time record for strikeouts in a season by a pitching staff at 1,429, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. The Tigers pitching staff set the previous record last season. Kluber added another strikeout in the eighth and Cody Allen struck out one in the ninth inning as well, bringing the total up to 1,431.

Kluber finished with eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits and a pair of walks along with the 11 strikeouts. As Bastian also noted with a mid-game tweet, Kluber also climbed up the Indians’ leaderboard for strikeouts in a season by a pitcher, taking sixth place at 269. He trails Bob Feller, who struck out 348 in 1946, and four Sam McDowell seasons.

Kluber has a serious case for the American League Cy Young award. Following Friday night’s win, he’s 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a 269/51 K/BB ratio. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez — Kluber’s fiercest competitor for the award — will start on Sunday against the Angels as he will get one last shot to pad his resume. King Felix is currently 14-6 with a 2.34 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and a 241/46 K/BB ratio.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.