Indians starter Corey Kluber once again pitched well, limiting the Tigers to two runs on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts over eight innings during Sunday afternoon’s 9-2 win. The right-hander extended his walkless streak to six consecutive starts. Kluber last issued a walk to Domingo Santana leading off the bottom of the fourth inning on May 8.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Kluber has faced 168 consecutive batters without issuing a walk, which is the third-longest streak of its kind over the last five years. Bartolo Colon had a streak of 204 batters without issuing a walk in 2015 with the Mets and Phil Hughes went through 178 batters in 2014 with the Twins.
Kluber, the defending AL Cy Young Award winner, has the second-lowest ERA in the AL at 1.99, behind Justin Verlander‘s 1.45. He’s also 10-2 with a 103/10 K/BB ratio in 99 2/3 innings.
The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.
There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.
Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.
In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.