Some days, pitchers just don’t have it – and Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field against the Seattle Mariners, it was just one of those days for Cleveland Indians 2020 Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber.
The 26-year-old, who entered Sunday with a mark of 7-3 and a 2.96 ERA, was beaten up by the light hitting Mariners, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings in a 6-2 loss.
He gave up two homers, two walks and eight strikeouts, delivering 107 pitches and 69 strikes. He then saw his ERA balloon from 2.96 to 3.28.
Oddly enough, most of the damage from the M’s lineup came from players you would never consider. Jake Fraley, who wasn’t even in the original lineup on Sunday, came in the 1st inning when Mitch Haniger fouled a ball off his knee.
Fraley then homered off Bieber in the 4th inning, just his 4th HR of the year, and his average jumped to .250.
Leadoff man J.P. Crawford, who was hitting a respectable .267 to start the game, went 3-for-5 with a strikeout and an RBI. He pushed his average to .274.
Kyle Seager (hitting .206 entering play) had a pair of hits, and even Jose Goody, hitting 9th in the lineup, went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored to push his average to .176.
For Bieber, it was an outing that few saw coming, considering the success he’s had. Entering play on Sunday, Bieber had not allowed more than three earned runs in a game all year.
Many would say his “worst” outing came May 22nd against the rival Minnesota Twins in a 5-3 win when he gave up three runs on eight hits with a walk and six Ks.
Sunday, though, he just didn’t have it, or maybe the Ms learned something from the outing they had against Bieber back on May 16th.
That night, he went 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
The Mariners were well prepared for Bieber on Sunday, and it showed.