It took the extra innings rule to put runs on the board in this one
On Tuesday night, Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox and Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians combined for a connoisseur’s night of baseball at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cleveland wound up prevailing by a score of 2-0 (box score) in 10 innings. The story, however, is everything that happened before that decisive 10th frame — i.e., when Giolito and Bieber were still going at it.
Here’s Bieber’s work for the night:
And here’s Giolito’s line:
The two also combined for 21 ground-outs and just three fly-outs. In the process, Bieber lowered his ERA for the season to 2.11, while Giolito’s mark plummeted to 2.55. Coming in there was plenty of anticipation given that Bieber is the reigning AL Cy Young winner and Giolito has established himself as a frontline ace. Suffice it to say, expectations were met and then surpassed.
Should we appreciate some moving pictures from the duel of note? We should indeed:
And now for a smattering of observations on this instant classic, mostly about Bieber:
- This marks the first time the White Sox were shut out for nine innings since June 5, 2013.
- With his 11 Tuesday whiffs, Bieber has now struck out 35 in his first three starts of the season for the second straight year. Nolan Ryan set the record with 37 in 1973 and Gerrit Cole is second with 36 in 2018.
- Bieber in 2021 now joins Ryan in ’73 and Cole in ’18 as the lone pitchers to strike out more than 10 in each of their first three starts of a season.
- Bieber has now set a franchise record by striking out at least eight batters in 15 straight starts.
- Giolito joins Goose Gossage as the only White Sox pitchers to strike out eight or more batters in each of their first three starts of a season (yes, the Hall of Fame reliever was a starter for a brief time).
- This is the first time Giolito has lasted longer than six innings since his no-hitter against the Pirates on Aug. 25 of last year.
- The White Sox had a chance in this one to hit walk-off home run off the pitcher who started the game, but alas they still haven’t done that since Carlos Quentin took John Lackey deep on May 25, 2008.
As for how it ended, the tie after nine frames meant that the much-dread extra innings rule was in effect. In the top of the 10th, a catcher’s interference call against Yasmani Grandal gave Cleveland runners on the corners. One out later Roberto Perez singled and Amed Rosario doubled off Garrett Crochet to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. In the home half, Jake Lamb nearly homered off James Karinchak to tie the score again, but the ball died at the track. All that was left was a Cleveland win and a darned memorable night of pitching.
Highlights: Indians at White Sox