Kluber, who won the AL Cy Young in 2014 and finished third in the voting in 2016, made just six so-so starts (5.06 ERA/4.31 FIP) before landing on the DL with the back issue. The back was an issue that had been a problem in most of those starts, too, which meant the stint on the DL provided a bit of a chance to heal. Without a fully healthy or available Kluber, Cleveland has scuffled along this season, but manager Terry Francona’s team is only a game out of first in the AL Central because nobody else in the division is having a banner year. Kluber is expected to be activated in time for his start Thursday.
Clayton Kershaw became the second-quickest pitcher to reach 2,000 career strikeouts Friday when he punched out four batters in the first two innings against the Brewers.
Kershaw, 29, reached the milestone in 277 games. Only Randy Johnson (262 games) reached the feat quicker. Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar was the victim of strikeout No. 2,000 for Kershaw.
Highlighted by a 301-strikeout season in 2015, Kershaw has been one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB since his arrival in 2008.
Kershaw is now 78th all-time on the strikeout list, and still over 3,700 strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan. His four strikeouts Friday tied him with former Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes. Next on the list would be Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter, who retired with 2,012 strikeouts.