Tanner Bibee had himself a good day at the ballpark Saturday. The Guardians rookie struck out a career-high nine batters in the Guardians 2-1 loss to the Cardinals.
The impressive aspect about Bibee's outing, besides striking out nine, is that it was not a lineup full of scrubs that he overpowered. Bibee struck out Lars Nootbaar three times and Tommy Edman twice. That is in addition to striking out Willson Contreras, Nolan Gorman, Paul DeJong, and Paul Goldschmidt once each. That is a pretty impressive day of work considering St. Louis has the 11th-fewest strikeouts as a team this season.
Bibee's previous single game strikeout best came in his debut against the Colorado Rockies nearly a month ago with eight. The 24-year old followed his debut with some pretty good strikeout totals in between his debut and Saturday. Striking out five Yankees and seven Angels with a couple lesser totals along the way (two and three when facing the Tigers and Mets respectively).
This is exactly why everyone has been so excited to see Bibee with the major league club. Bibee was taking care of business on a routine basis in the minors, registering impressive strikeout at every stop in his journey to the majors. Bibee averaged 13.1 strikeouts per nine in Lake County, 9.9 in Akron, and 11.2 in Columbus. The oustanding rookie is averaging just under nine (8.9) in 34.1 innings with the Guardians this season, but the drop is expected considering that the talent is just that much better.
As the season progresses and with potential trades coming later, Bibee is going to be expected to shoulder a sizeable portion of the pitching load. As long as the promising rookie continues to pitch similar to this level and register high strikeout totals on a semi-regular basis they will be in good hands.