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The Klubot lived up to his nickname with a performance befitting of a machine.
Corey Kluber helped the Indians jump out to a surprising 1-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs with a dominant nine-strikeout, no-walk effort Tuesday that included a World Series-record eight punchouts through the first three innings of the game. The unprecedented strikeout run also set a franchise record for most in a World Series game despite being just nine outs into Game 1.
Kluber struck out Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant looking in the first before working around a leadoff double in the second by fanning the next three batters in order. He became the fourth pitcher to strikeout at least seven hitters through the first three frames of a World Series game, joining Bob Gibson, Orlando Hernandez, and Randy Johnson.
Kluber’s also just the sixth pitcher in World Series history to strike out nine or more batters without issuing a walk, and the first to do it while pitching less than seven innings. The outing lowered Kluber’s postseason ERA to 0.74 over 24 1/3 innings, while allowing just two runs and notching 29 strikeouts.