In case you missed it, today Shane Bieber became the youngest Indians pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts since then-happily married Dennis Eckersley did it as a 21-year-old in 1976.
Shane Bieber just recorded his 200th strikeout of the season. At 24, Bieber is the youngest Indians pitcher to hit that mark since 21-year-old Dennis Eckersley in 1976.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) August 14, 2019
Unfortunately, Bieber’s offense left him alone as he faced Boston and the Tribe lost, 5-1.
After crossing a massive milestone for such a young player, Bieber battled one of the toughest offenses in baseball and allowed just two earned runs and struck out seven over 6.0 innings. It could have been a whole lot uglier early on as he allowed three hits in the first two innings, but he worked out of it every time. His first and only blemishes came in the third inning with Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts hit back-to-back home runs off the All-Star.
Dating back to Tuesday night and a first-inning single today, Devers’ dinger marked his eighth-straight hit against Tribe pitching. The streak was finally snapped in the fifth when Devers chased a ball well off the plate and grounded out.
Bieber wanted no part of the Rafael Devers show that inning.
Beiber threw his usual mix of fastballs, curveballs, and sliders with 10 changeups mixed into his 107 pitches. The Red Sox only put 18 balls in play against him, and he wasn’t hit particularly hard — Boston had an average exit velocity of 85.7 mph against him, and the hardest-hit ball was, again, Devers’ first-inning 104.3 mph single. The second hardest-hit ball off Bieber? Devers’ 103.3 mph home run.
So after keeping one of the best offenses in baseball in check for two-thirds of the game, how did the Indians bullpen repay Bieber? Nick Goody almost immediately gave up a three-run home run — the first time he’s given up any earned runs since June 23. A 2-1 hill that seemed climbable, even with how poorly the offense was performing, was now a 5-1 mountain.
Logan Allen made his Indians debut, and also debuted against the team that originally drafted him, with a strong two scoreless innings of work in which he struck out three and allowed no hits.
Offensively ... there was just nothing there today. Oscar Mercado finally got a hit and Carlos Santana walked twice, but it’s a game best forgotten. Their only run came off a wild pitch.
Since the Brewers apparently forgot their supposed to be a good team, they’re currently losing to the Twins, 5-3, and the Indians are in danger of falling 1.5 games back in the division. Surely an insurmountable lead. Time to start the rebuild. I love the Brewers, I’ve always said that.