Shane Bieber dominates Orioles as Guardians roll to fourth straight victory
Shane Bieber had yet another dominant start as the Guardians topped the Orioles for their fourth-straight victory.
For all of the talk about his velocity continuing to drop, Guardians ace Shane Bieber sure has continued to pitch well, offering glimpses of the dominance that won him the AL Cy Young in 2020.
Bieber shut down the Baltimore Orioles Friday night, giving up two runs in seven innings and striking out 11. Since being lit up by the Blue Jays for seven runs on May 7, Bieber has a 1.93 ERA over his last four starts, striking out 33 batters in 28 innings. On the season, he now has a 3.12 ERA along with a 2.80 FIP, and he’s reduced his xBA to .252.
At this point, there’s a good chance Bieber will never regain the velocity he had just a couple years ago, but his control and devastating arsenal of breaking balls are still some of the best in the game.
Owen Miller had three hits and four RBIs, raising his line to .284/.337/.459 with four home runs, 14 doubles, 24 RBIs and a 130 OPS+. Josh Naylor knocked in two runs of his own and continues to enjoy his own breakout campaign with a most excellent 147 wRC+.
With Cleveland’s 6-3 win Friday, the Guardians have now won four straight and five of six, taking advantage of a stretch in which they play some of the weaker teams in the American League. As the offense continues to chug along with a very respectable .248 team batting average and 104 wRC+, the pitching staff has also begun to hit its stride. Since May 15, Cleveland’s rotation has the fifth-lowest ERA in baseball (2.86) and the sixth-lowest FIP at 3.48.
With the weather warming up and the Guardians playing a far more regular schedule not being constantly interrupted by postponements, Cleveland has a chance to not only get to .500, but to begin making some real noise in the AL Central.