The Cleveland Indians enter play Tuesday with an 8-7 record and have been above-average so far.
But there is one player who has been elite.
That is Shane Bieber.
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner is making all sorts of history through four starts and is averaging 12 strikeouts per game.
MLB.com beat writers recently got together to come up with a list of one notable stat for each team so far.
The one for the Indians had to do with Bieber already having 48 strikeouts.
Gerrit Cole is the next closest pitcher in baseball with 39.
Shane Bieber Playing at Whole Other Level
There is no other stat that even compares to what Bieber is doing.
The list goes on and on regarding the history he is making.
Shane Bieber is absolutely unreal.
With his 13 strikeouts today, Biebs tied Nolan Ryan for the most strikeouts all-time through the first 4 starts of a season.#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/uAb80AqbIC
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 18, 2021
Tying Nolan Ryan on any list is impressive.
But Bieber also owns another impressive mark that he can keep building later this month when he takes the mound.
Shane Bieber is the first pitcher with 10+ Ks in his first 4 starts of a season since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893. pic.twitter.com/pkFbDsYGF6
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 18, 2021
The ace is back on the mound later this week and there is no reason why anyone would expect him to finish with fewer than 10 strikeouts.
He appears to get better as games go on and another double-digit strikeout performance is going to make this new historical mark a tough one for anyone to beat.
Shane Bieber’s Insane Pace
Bieber won the Cy Young Award in 2020 with 12 starts during the shortened schedule.
He had a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts for a 14.2 K/9.
Now he is averaging 12 strikeouts per start and should make 33 or 34 starts in 2021.
That sets him up to chase Ryan’s modern era single-season strikeout record of 383.
Bieber’s only full season at the MLB level came in 2019.
He had 259 strikeouts in 34 appearances and finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting.
He could now shatter that career-high mark by August.
A second All-Star Game appearance is already a lock and he remains the early betting favorite to top Cole and win a second straight Cy Young.
The Next Shot at History
The Indians had yet another off-day Monday so the team has decided to put Bieber back on the mound Friday against the New York Yankees.
This plan could change if the winter weather set to hit early Wednesday morning causes any problems.
The Yankees have been a surprising dud so far in 2021 and that is great news for Bieber.
He has a chance to get 10 strikeouts once again and it would be amazing to see him get whiffs from the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
This would be a good way to avenge his terrible outing from last year’s playoff series against the Yankees.
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