CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians are making this a tradition…having one of their players win the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award in the same year they are hosting the MLB All-Star Game.
Twenty-two years after former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. became the first player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP Award in his home ballpark, pitcher Shane Bieber became the third, as he earned the honor in the 90th MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland Tuesday night.
Bieber won the award after throwing a perfect 1-2-3 inning and becoming the first Indians pitcher to strike out the side in the MLB All-Star Game.
On in relief during the top of the fifth inning, Bieber set down the National League, 1-2-3, with three strikeouts to preserve a 1-0 lead for the American League after four-and-a-half innings of play in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland Tuesday night.
As the crowd chanted “Let’s go, Bieber” with great passion and at deafening decibel levels, Bieber wound up and struck out Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. looking for the final out of the top of the fifth inning.
Bieber began the inning by striking out National League starting catcher Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs looking. With a 2-2 count, Bieber threw his third consecutive four-seam fastball that froze the hitter and recorded the first out.
Against Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte, another National League starter, Bieber had to fight his way through the at-bat, as he threw three pitches out of the strike zone. However, after failing to locate back-to-back fastballs, Bieber got Marte swinging at a knuckle curve that dropped out of the zone.
Another length at-bat followed, as Acuna Jr. twice fouled off pitches to stay alive at the plate, but after running the count full, he took an 85-mile-per-hour slider for a called third strike.
With the MVP honors, Bieber joined Alomar Jr. (1997) and Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez (1999) as the only other players in the 90-year history of the MLB All-Star Game to win the award in his home park.