Shane Bieber is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season.
The Cleveland Indians ace is also etching his name in MLB history because of his strikeout total to begin 2021.
Bieber was on the mound Saturday night in a much-anticipated duel with Gerrit Cole.
As expected, this was going to be a tough night for the Indians offense.
Bieber was pulled after seven innings of work in which he allowed only two earned runs.
Both came on solo home runs in the fifth inning as Bieber proved he is indeed mortal.
But he also left with nine strikeouts to his name, continuing a historic streak that puts him among some legendary names in league history.
Most consecutive starts with at least 8 strikeouts, MLB history:
17: Shane Bieber (current, including tonight)
17: Randy Johnson (1999-2000)
16: Pedro Martinez (1997-98)
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) April 24, 2021
The ace made history on what was somewhat of an off-night compared to his usual pace.
The Ace’s Strikeout Total So Far
Bieber entered the night with 48 strikeouts.
He had 12 apiece in his first two starts, 11 in his third start, and 13 last Sunday in a win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Seven innings and nine strikeouts is an easy night for the Yankees offense.
Shane Bieber, 95mph Fastball…and patented Bieber Turn/Gaze/Strut pic.twitter.com/KPD3KfDSow
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 24, 2021
The problem was the 119 pitches he threw in those seven innings.
He likely would have remained in the game if that count was lower.
Indians fans are witnessing history and Bieber is now tied with Randy Johnson for the longest streak of at least eight strikeouts.
Is there any doubt he can make it 18 games in a row next week?
The Game Itself
The Indians put up another dud against the Yankees to make it three losses in a row to the Bronx Bombers.
Cole went seven innings and had 11 strikeouts.
The lone mistake was an Eddie Rosario single that gave the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
There is only so much to say when the offense looks like this with Bieber on the mound.
It is frustrating and hard to watch.
Writing about the history he made is a shorter conversation and one actually fun to discuss.
The most support Bieber has gotten this season was the six runs provided to him by the offense last Sunday.
Seeing one run, unfortunately, is not surprising.
Shane Bieber is a star.
Now it is time for the offense to act inspired when he is on the mound.
A bad night against Cole, however, is a fair excuse.