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Guardians pour it on again, leave Kansas City with a split

Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan Steven Kwan

Cleveland Guardians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

There were a lot of things that went well for the Guardians in their 10-4 win over the Royals. There was also quite a bit of bad, let’s be honest. The point here is that there are plenty of other things to talk about than just Steven Kwan for the second recap in a row. Just know that he did some things and let’s talk about some other players, alright?

did you see how he drew two walks?

On top of that other player I won’t be mentioning in this recap, Owen Miller has started 2022 on fire. Today he added to his impressive start by going 3-for-5 — against two right-handed pitchers no less! Riding the “hot hand” four games into the season might seem a little odd, but it could also be that Miller is a better bat than Bobby Bradley, period. The early returns on Miller seem to point to that as he puts his bat-to-ball skills into practice and has even added some doubles power.

steven kwan still hasn’t swung and missed on a pitch

Miller’s RBI single set up the final run of the game, but the action started at the top of the lineup with the first three hitters getting on base to start the game. Franmil Reyes backed his way into an RBI with a double-play ball that scored Myles Straw, and Amed Rosario followed it up with a single that scored a runner from third.

one of those runners was steven kwan, because he got on base. again

Guardians bats would stay mostly quiet until the fourth when Oscar Mercado hit his second home run in as many days, extending the lead to 4-1.

In that time between offensive outbursts we also Aaron Civale struggle with command in his first outing of the season. He reached the ceiling of his pitch limit, ending the day at 74 pitches, 3.1 innings, 2 earned runs, three strikeouts, and three walks. Even with the limited time, he managed to work in all six of his pitches, led by his slider 23 times.

he has a 1.789 ops what the hell man

Civale had noticeable trouble keeping pitches in the top of the zone, though there were close calls that probably should have gone his way but didn’t. Still, he finished the day without too much damage, and one of the runs attributed to him came from off a single allowed by Trevor Stephan when Civale was already out of the game.

Bryan Shaw was credited with a hold, only because he did the bare minimum to not blow the 6-4 lead he was gifted in the seventh inning. Nick Sandlin bailed him out with a double play to end the inning, then went on to pitch a clean eighth inning.


Yes, on top of Kwan’s two walks early in the game, he also recorded the first three-bagger of his career — a clutch hit with two outs that gave the Guardians some much-needed breathing room. The impeccable timing with his leg kick and eye at the plate combined to send a Scott Barlow curveball into right field; it was a work of art.

That hit set off a firestorm of tweets praising his record-breaking first series as a major leaguer. Most notably, he has reached base 15 times in his first four games, passing a list of greats such as Jay Bruce, Akinori Iwamura, and Fern Bell.

Kwan also displayed a bit of humanity this game — perhaps to throw us off the scent of him being an actual hitting machine. The sun got in the way of a potential out in the fourth inning, but that was his only real negative this game. He still has not swung and missed at a pitch in his major-league career, though he came close once today but checked his swing in time.

Overall, Kwan’s slow day at the plate dropped his batting average by over .100 points to .692. He should be ashamed.

The rest of the offense didn’t quite match the 17 runs they scored yesterday, but capping off a four-game series by outscoring your opponent 27-10 in the last two games isn’t a bad consolation prize, either.

It shouldn’t have been that close, either, but Emmanuel Clase looked like he needed some more fine-tuning in his second outing of the season. He allowed the only run in the Guardians’ 1-0 loss on Saturday, and today he allowed two more off a home run before he slowed down and recorded three straight outs to end it. He entered the game with a five-run lead — essentially the perfect spot to work out some kinks. And that’s exactly what he did.

The Guardians will keep the Kwan Show on the road in Cincinnati over the next two days before a day off and finally returning home to Cleveland on Friday.