The Cleveland Indians' starting rotation got all the attention during the team's six-game homestand against the Royals and White Sox. Tribe manager Terry Francona said that if they left Minnesota on Sunday making the same remarks about their starters after facing a lethal Twins lineup, they'd be in pretty good shape.
In the series opener, Shane Bieber, once again, stole the show.
The UC Santa Barbara product and Tribe's ace dominated in eight innings, striking out 13 batters without permitting a walk or run, leading Cleveland to a 2-0 victory over Minnesota at Target Field on Thursday night. The Indians became the first team since at least 1901 to have four 10-plus strikeout outings from their pitchers in the first seven games of the season.
Bieber, who helped the Gauchos to the 2016 World Series and was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, tossed 8.0 innnings while striking out 13 Twins and allowing no walks. Through two games, he has 27 strikeouts, one walk and just seven hits. In 2019, Minnesota set a Major League Baseball record with 313 home runs.
Bieber's 27 strikeouts after two games equals Karl Spooner for the most in a pitcher's first two outings of a season. Karl Spooner set the mark for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.
Elias Sports Bureau is responsible for the statistical analysis.