Cal Quantrill and the Cleveland Guardians shut out the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 tonight in Williamsport, PA. Participants in the Little League World Series sat behind home plate. Quantrill treated them to what might be the finest pitching many of them will ever see. Amed Rosario added to the excitement with a home run, and Cleveland cruised behind this early lead to victory.
The first two hitters of the game delivered the first two runs for Cleveland. Myles Straw laced the first pitch he saw for a double off of the left-center field wall. Rosario then watched two balls before driving a ball over the wall near the foul pole in left. The third run scored when Austin Hedges scampered home on a fielder’s choice.
Cal Quantrill struck out nine, walked two, and allowed two hits in seven innings of shutout baseball. He got more dominant as the game went on, retiring the final thirteen hitters that he faced. I see in it a continuation of Quantrill’s maturation during his time in Cleveland. While he struggled when first given a chance to start he is now nearly two months into a stretch of good-to-great starts. I do not know if this will become the new normal, but it is a joy to watch now.
After Quantrill, Karinchak entered the game to pitch the eighth. He floundered, again. After allowing a hit and walking two to load the bases, DeMarlo Hale swapped Bryan Shaw into the game. He induced a double-play on the second pitch of his appearance and then vanished.
Emmanuel Clase earned the save within a scoreless top of the ninth.
The last thing I’d like to call out is just how hot Amed Rosario is at the plate right now. He is on a nine-game hitting streak and owns multiple hits in six of those. He is, simply put, straight-up mashing the dang baseball. The shortstop is playing as well as any in the sport since the all-star break.
Just as it is with Quantrill, then. We shall hope for it to continue and enjoy it as it lasts.
- The ESPN broadcast did a number of segments about Shohei Ohtani during the game. Maybe the wildest is one in which Mike Trout simply answered a number of questions about Shohei Ohtani.
- Myles Straw enjoyed an RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. More notable than the RBI is the play made by Jose Iglesias. He laid out for the grounder — a sharp shot up the middle — and snared it in the webbing. Without looking, he flipped the ball back to second base where David Fletcher scooped it up to record the force out. The kids went “ooh” and “ahh”. They were right.
- Jared Walsh of the Angels was mic’d up, so Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian interviewed him during the bottom of the second inning. At one point Walsh began to answer a question but contact at the plate interrupted him. After a brief pause, he said, “Sorry about that, Alex,” and then continued on with the question.
Regardless of your opinion about Alex Rodriguez, it’s wild to me that players still respect him so much that they will apologize to him when he interrupts them in their skull during a live, meaningful game.
- The little leaguers all got up and left the game in the top of the ninth with no outs. It was nearly 10:00 PM, after all.
Franmil Reyes popped up on the infield but shattered his bat in the process. The little leaguers right behind home plate cheered right away.
Cleveland gets tomorrow night off before taking on the Texas Rangers at home.