Yes, yes, yes. Hell yes. More games like this one, please and thank you.
Shane Bieber mowed down the Orioles down one after the other and the offense took an early lead that it never relinquished in today’s 10-0 defeat of the Baltimore Orioles.
The birds never figured Bieber out as he bolstered his usual excellent control with swings and misses. Fifteen strikeouts represents a career-high, and he is the fourth-youngest pitcher to strike out that many in MLB history. The only pitchers that were younger when accomplishing the feat? Kerry Wood, Dwight Gooden, and Vince Velasquez.
If 15 strikeouts doesn’t impress you, consider that he allowed only five hits and didn’t walk anybody. With a little more luck he would have made it a Maddux, as well — it took him only 107 pitches to complete the game.
Did he do it against the worst team in baseball? Possibly, but not just any pitcher can step up and dominate a major league team the way that Bieber did today. We’ve known about his prodigious control for a while; for example, he threw a first-pitch strike to 24 of the 31 batters that he faced today. If he’s now mixing in the ability to miss bats with consistency, the Indians’ rotation may truly become a stable filled with aces.
The Tribe have often needed such a dominant start to win this season thanks to a lackluster offense. That wasn’t the case today, as the Indians plated ten as part of a complete team effort. Eleven hits and eight walks fueled the scoring. The only Indians player to not reach base today was Jake Bauers, though he did put a ball into play on all five of his at-bats.
The Indians even showed some SLG today! Carlos Santana launched his seventh home run on the season. Francisco Lindor doubled twice. Leonys Martin, Oscar Mercado, and Mike Freeman all chipped in with two-baggers, too.
José Ramírez continued his interesting climb back to MVP-caliber hitting. While he didn’t get a hit today, he walked twice. One of these drove in a run. It’s encouraging to see him stay patient and find ways to contribute even if he isn’t blasting everything the way he did this time last year.
The Tribe are now 25-20 with the Oakland Athletics entering town tomorrow night. With the recent signs of life from the offense, maybe one of those patented winning streaks is just around the corner.