This was the way it was always supposed to be, right? The big powerful New York Yankees ending the Cleveland Guardians’ season? Well there you go, it happened.
Though, to be fair, it should have happened a long time ago if you asked anyone before the playoffs. This Guardians team wasn’t supposed to be here. They don’t hit enough home runs, they don’t have enough experience, they won a weak division. Say whatever you want about them, but they still swept the Rays and took the Yankees to the ropes. With a shoestring budget and a hope and a prayer they brought Cleveland immense joy in the summer of 2022.
I don’t have anything profound to say here, there’s not even much to recap about the game. I have no fiery opinion about what happened (other than maybe not challenging Andrés Giménez’s slide into first) because I’m not really angry that they lost. Just ... kinda bummed.
Aaron Civale came out and was immediately awful, but he still only gave up three runs with eight innings left of baseball. The offense just couldn’t get the clutch hits that carried them this far, and despite a stellar (absolutely brilliant) 7.2 innings from the bullpen, they couldn’t overcome Yankee pitching.
Although it was hardly the game-defining decision it’ll be made out to be, I’m sure the debate about Civale vs. short-rest Bieber for the start will rage on your least favorite local radio station between Browns segments for the next five months, so I’m not going to start it here. There were two different risky decisions for Terry Francona to make, he chose one, and it didn’t work out. Does it work out any better if he goes with the other one? We can debate it until we’re blue in the face but we’re never going to know.
Whatever arguments you have with your fellow Guardians fans over the upcoming months — whether it’s about payroll, the starting pitcher decision, or which right-handed power bat they should trade for — I hope you’ll keep in the back of your mind just how special this year truly was. These seasons don’t come around very often, even when they end in heartbreak, as so many baseball seasons do. And as much as we would like to think “well they’ll be older next year so they’ll be better!” that’s not always the case. I don’t say this to be negative, just to remember to not take these kinds of teams for granted. One bad game doesn’t erase the months of great memories that they provided.
Most of all, thank you for reading Covering the Corner this year. Thank you to everyone who clicked a single link, left a single comment, or was a dedicated reader through every news and notes post. And of course thank you to Brian, Matt, Jason, Chris, westbrook, woodmeister, Merritt, Blake, and Andrew for their hard work behind the scenes and slinging digital ink.
This was honestly one of the most fun seasons I’ve had running LGT/CTC, and that’s because the community has been as fun and as engaging forever. We’ll be chugging along through the offseason and we hope you’ll be here too.