Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber is the best pitcher in baseball and the numbers are there to back up that claim.
He returned to the mound Sunday against Cincinnati and proceeded to get 13 strikeouts in eight innings of work.
Bieber was mowing down the Reds lineup in the final innings and made history in the process.
SHANE BIEBER! 10 STRIKEOUTS! AGAIN!
He now has 10+ K in each of his 1st 4 starts this season
He's the 1st pitcher with 10+ K in his 1st 4 starts of a season since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) April 18, 2021
You read the above tweet correctly.
Bieber is the first player in modern MLB history to have at least 10 strikeouts in all of his first four starts.
His yearly total stands at 48 and we are still not even near the end of April.
The Ace’s Historic Day
Bieber is now the first to get to double-digits in his first four starts.
His total of 48 strikeouts also ties him with a legend of the game in Nolan Ryan for an entirely separate stat.
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
The wild part about Bieber’s insane pace is that he went a combined 12.1 innings in his first two starts.
He managed to get 12 strikeouts in each game.
That means Bieber has at least 11 strikeouts in all four of his starts this month.
The best news is that the Indians are now 3-1 with him on the mound in 2021.
So what is Bieber’s ceiling?
That is impossible to tell as he continues to get better each and every time he makes a start.
Ready for one more impressive feat?
Shane Bieber's K total in each start, 2020-21:
14, 13, 8, 8, 11, 11, 10, 9, 10, 8, 10, 10, 12, 12, 11, 13
Sure, strikeouts are up league-wide, but no one is doing what Bieber is doing. He's one start shy of tying Randy Johnson's all-time record for consecutive starts w/ 8+ Ks.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) April 18, 2021
The ace has at least eight strikeouts in his last 16 starts, dating back to the start of the 2020 season.
The weird dynamic of last year had no effect on his numbers and he stayed focused to win the American League Cy Young Award.
He may end up being the obvious choice once again well before the season is over.
Offense Shows Up With Three Blasts
The Indians scored six runs Sunday in support of Bieber and all six came via home runs.
Jose Ramirez hit a solo shot in the first inning and Roberto Perez made it 4-0 with a three-run blast in the fourth.
The Reds were able to cut it to 4-2, but Jordan Luplow hit a two-run shot of his own and the Indians took an insurmountable lead.
Giving up six runs is not a recipe for success with Bieber on the mound.
Emmanuel Clase came in for the save and got three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth.
This win was huge after the odd nature of Saturday’s loss.
A triple play and a costly error could have ruined the series, but the team had to be confident Sunday with their ace on the mound.
Shane Bieber made history and now the fun will come in seeing what comes next.
Maybe a 15-strikeout performance is on the horizon?
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