The Baseball Gods heard our pleas and blessed the Cleveland Guardians with enough runs to beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-1, and avoid turning this miserable series into a four-game sweep.
Much of the credit goes to Cal Quantrill. The Guardians’ starting pitcher threw a career-high 109 pitches over 7.2 innings, limiting the Twins to four hits, two walks, and one earned run. His only blemish came on a Miguel Sanó solo home run in the second inning. Quantrill relied heavily on his sinker and slider, the latter accounting for 37% of his pitches and registering a 28% CSW%.
There were brief fireworks in the top of the seventh inning when Sanó came to the plate and started chirping at Quantrill from the batter’s box. Austin Hedges didn’t take too kindly to this and expressed as much to Sanó, prompting the umpires to meet at home plate to discuss... something. Sanó ended the at-bat by grounding out to third and Quantrill stared him down as he ran to first, offering his own choice words before getting chased back to the mound and read the riot act by the home plate umpire. I can’t say for sure what prompted the exchange, but Sanó seemed to take issue with something Quantrill said earlier to one of his teammates.
Cal Quantrill, Hedges and Sano. ️ pic.twitter.com/1h1lCEFgBp— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 10, 2021
Fortunately, Cleveland’s lineup finally found their own supply of fireworks, with Franmil Reyes erasing a 1-0 deficit in the third inning with a two-run homer off Andrew Albers, who got the start for Minnesota after scheduled starter Randy Dobnak was scratched late. Oscar Mercado and José Ramírez each contributed a solo shot to give the Guardians some breathing room.
Cleveland won, so this is a nitpick, but four runs seems like a paltry total considering the amount of baserunners the Guardians had after tallying nine hits and six walks.
Can’t wait to do this all over again next week in Minnesota.
UPDATE: Mandy Bell has the answers we seek regarding the seventh inning squabble:
Franmil Reyes explained the chirping between Sanó and Quantrill was about a prior comment Quantrill made to Donaldson about him swinging at a 3-0 pitch.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) September 10, 2021
"Sanó, when he walked to the plate, he just said, ‘Say it to his face.’ And Cal just said, ‘I did. I did say it to his face.’"