CLEVELAND — Once again, Shane Bieber has done what no other Indians pitcher has before. For the first time in club history, Bieber brought home the American League Cy Young Award unanimously, as announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on MLB Network on Wednesday night. He’s the ninth
CLEVELAND — Once again, Shane Bieber has done what no other Indians pitcher has before.
For the first time in club history, Bieber brought home the American League Cy Young Award unanimously, as announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on MLB Network on Wednesday night. He’s the ninth Major League pitcher to be named the recipient unanimously since 2000 and the first since Clayton Kershaw in ’14. Justin Verlander in ’11 was the last AL pitcher to receive every first-place vote.
Bieber joins a short list of Indians players who have won the coveted award, including Corey Kluber (2014 and ’17), Cliff Lee (’08), CC Sabathia (’07) and Gaylord Perry (1972). The Tribe’s four Cy Young Award winners since 2007 are the most in the big leagues in that span.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) November 11, 2020
There was little debate whether Bieber would bring home the hardware after his stellar season. The only question was whether he’d be unanimous in the decision, but even that seemed probable. His numbers topped every pitcher in the Majors, as the 25-year-old took home the MLB Pitching Triple Crown at the end of the regular season with eight wins, 122 strikeouts and a 1.63 ERA. He was the first to lead all Major League pitchers (not just those in his league) in those categories since Minnesota’s Johan Santana in 2006.
Bieber dominated the AL, leading pitchers in wins, strikeouts, ERA, batting average allowed (.167), slugging percentage allowed (.265) and strikeouts per nine innings (14.2), and he was second in innings pitched (77 1/3).
The 25-year-old is the youngest Tribe pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in franchise history. It’s just another addition to a long list of Cleveland firsts that Bieber set this year. His 122 strikeouts were a club record over a pitcher’s first 12 starts and the sixth most in MLB history over such a span. He also recorded at least eight strikeouts in all 12 starts, which is the longest streak to start a season in Cleveland history, surpassing Bob Feller’s 1946 club record (nine starts).
Bieber’s efforts were historic, as he reached 100 strikeouts in the fewest number of innings in Major League history (66 1/3 frames), outpacing Max Scherzer’s 63-inning record set in 2018. Eight of those outings were double-digit strikeout performances, which marked the most 10-plus strikeout games of all hurlers in 2020.
While his success in 2020 was indisputable, the right-hander started to show what he was capable of in ’19. Bieber’s 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings last year earned him a fourth-place finish in the AL Cy Young Award voting. Over his last 25 starts dating back to July 24, 2019, Bieber has gone 14-6 with a 2.21 ERA and 225 strikeouts in 167 1/3 innings, but he constantly notes that he has plenty of room left to improve.