One should have known opening night when Shane Bieber struck out 14 Kansas City Royals that it was going to be a special season for the 25-year-old Indians starter.
No one could have seen coming what Bieber was able to do over the 60-game 2020 campaign, which ended with the Indians rallying to top the Pittsburgh Pirates to earn the fourth-seed in the American League.
Bieber made history, winning the American League "Triple Crown" of pitching. He led the American League with eight wins (losing just once), 122 strikeouts, and a 1.63 ERA.
In six of his 12 starts he didn't allow an earned run, and had double digit strikeouts in eight of his starts this season.
Bieber is a lock to win the American League Cy Young award. When he does he'll be the fifth Cleveland player in 14 seasons to win the award.
C.C. Sabathia won the award in 2007, Cliff Lee won it in 2008, and Corey Kluber won the award twice, in 2014 and 2017.
As far as contracts go, Bieber doesn’t even become arbitration eligible until after the 2021 season, and there's no doubt the team will start to chat with the 25-year-old about an extension.
Bieber is scheduled to be the Indians starter in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against the New York Yankees in the wild card round starting on Tuesday night.