Shane Bieber only had five strikeouts Tuesday night.
That is the lowest total of the season for the Cleveland Indians ace.
But that doesn’t matter at all considering he pitched six innings of one-run baseball and the Indians took home a 10-1 victory.
Bieber getting proper run support has been an issue at times this season and it is clear just how automatic of a win he can be if the offense decides to show up.
He continued to build his Cy Young Award case Tuesday night and two stats in particular stand out after another easy win.
2. The Strikeout Total
Bieber only having five strikeouts did not change the fact he still leads MLB in the category.
The ace now has 122 punchouts on the year, which is five better than Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow.
This last start also got Bieber’s ERA down below 3.00 to 2.96.
That is obviously still an elite mark, but he does face some tough competition among his American League counterparts.
He would really have to blow everyone away in strikeouts for the ERA difference to be obsolete in the award discussion.
Of course, a pitcher’s effectiveness is measured far beyond ERA.
However, some voters still only look at the simple box score.
1. The Benefits Of Run Support
It sure is amazing what can happen when the offense scores runs.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) June 9, 2021
Look at that above stat and try not to get frustrated.
The Indians offense just needs to have an average night with Bieber on the mound and a win is nearly automatic.
He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season, yet he has taken home three losses.
The Indians obviously failed to score at least four runs in all three.
This stat shows the advantage the Indians have on the mound every five days.
Assuming they also aren’t going up against the opponent’s ace, there has to be some sense of urgency to get to that four-run total with Bieber on the bump.
Do that, and it is smooth sailing to a likely victory.
The stats surrounding Bieber go on and on and that is why he won last year’s Cy Young Award and remains a favorite to win another in 2021.
He marched into a National League park against an unfamiliar opponent and made them look silly for six innings.
That allowed the bullpen to take over and do what they do.
Emmanuel Clase, Diabolical 101mph Cutters. 🔥✂️ pic.twitter.com/Ypj0RroAE3
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 9, 2021
There are so many unknowns surrounding the Indians because of the lack of a defined starting rotation.
But with a healthy Bieber and Aaron Civale, the Indians appear to be doing just fine.
How long that can be sustained remains to be seen, but Zach Plesac is still expected to be back this summer.