Shane Bieber shares first ML win with his father after last minute flight

Yan Gomes drives in winning runs with daughter in attendance

Alex Hooper
June 17, 2018 - 6:31 pm
Jun 17, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians pitching coach Carl Willis (51) congratulates starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field.

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Shane Bieber did not know he was starting for the big league club on Sunday until just prior to the Columbus Clippers’ Saturday home game.

After he headed back to his apartment, packed and got on the road to Cleveland, he placed a call to his father with a potential Father’s Day getaway opportunity. Chris Bieber boarded a flight east from California and was in attendance for his son’s first Major League win, a 4-1 game against the Minnesota Twins.

Bieber did not get a chance to speak to his father until after the game, but did have some souvenirs to show to his old man when he left the clubhouse.

“I’m really excited that I’m able to share that with him,” he said.

The 23-year-old righty scattered 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings, but allowed just the one run to Minnesota, showing his signature maturity despite just one big league start prior to Sunday.

The poise showed through as the Twins posted just a 1-for-9 day against Bieber with runners in scoring position.

“I think he has tremendous composure,” Manager Terry Francona said. “That’s part of the reason he won today. It’s nice to see anybody execute their best pitches when the game is on the line. Sometimes nobody on, nobody out, it’s easy to let it go. But when you have to make a pitch, and you’re able to make your best pitch, that bodes well for us.”

“Kind of comes as advertised,” he added.

Behind the plate, catcher Yan Gomes engineered both the game plan to stop the streaking Twins bats, and the game-winning hit.

The Brazil native laced a one-out, bases-clearing double in the 3rd inning off of Jake Odorizzi that brought the game to its final score. The hit came just seconds after his Brazil attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho scored the nation’s lone goal in their 2018 FIFA World Cup debut.

The backstop has been riding a hot streak as of late, hitting in 11-of-12 games in the month of June with a .324/.390/.676 slash in the month entering the game. His five doubles and 11 RBI in June lead all Major League catchers, while his 1.1 WAR is tied for 1st among American League Catchers with 140 plate appearances.

Gomes credited part of his run to not trying to do too much at the dish, as well as communicating with outfielder Michael Brantley about what each is seeing on a certain day.

“I think we try to talk as much as we can when things are going well, just sit down with him,” Gomes said post-game, with his daughter on his lap. “But at the end of the day you’re the one out there, you got to try to figure out yourself to see what works. Once we try to simplify as much as we can, by talking to him you’re able to make adjustments throughout the game.”

The veteran’s job behind the plate was made a little easier by his rookie pitcher having the composure of another veteran, something that was not lost on Gomes.

“It’s kind of cool that for as many innings as he’s pitched in the Minor Leagues, he doesn’t walk very many guys, but after he walked Morrison, we kind of talked a little bit, I told him, I was like, ‘Hey, that’s a good walk.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I didn’t want to give him anything to hit,’” the catcher said of Bieber. “It’s kind of a mature comment, especially coming up in the second outing. We’re really excited about his future.”