Cleveland's Shane Bieber is off to one of the best season starts of any pitcher in MLB history.
Bieber became the first pitcher to strike out at least 10 batters in each of his first four starts of the season. The record dates back to when the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893, per Elias Sports.
The reigning Cy Young award winner has struck out 48 batters over the four games, tied with Nolan Ryan for most all-time in his first four appearances of a season. The Hall of Famer struck out 48 in the 1978 season and is second on the list with 46 in the 1973 season.
Bieber, 25, struck out 13 in a 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Sunday. He gave up six hits, three earned runs and two walks in eight full innings. Tyler Naquin hit a solo home run off of him in the bottom of the eighth and Emmanuel Clase closed out the win from the mound.
Bieber is on a 16-game streak of striking out at least eight batters every outing. It's tied with Pedro Martinez as the second-longest streak ever. Randy Johnson struck out at least eight in 17 straight games, per MLB.com's Mandy Bell.
The right-hander got the ball on opening day and struck out 12 over six innings against the Detroit Tigers. The following week he struck out 12 in 6 1/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals. And in a complete game against the Chicago White Sox, he fanned 11 with three hits, zero earned runs and one walk. It was his cleanest outing of the season.
Over 29 1/3 innings in four games, he's given up 17 hits, eight earned runs and 10 walks.
Two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom could best Ryan and Bieber's current mark this season. DeGrom currently has 35 strikeouts over his first three starts, including back-to-back 14-K outings. He would need a third 14-strikeout game to set the record.
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