Despite a couple of standout offensive performances, the Guardians fell to the Giants, 4-2, on a chilly day in Cleveland. Chalk this one up to cold weather, inexperience, bad luck, whatever you want — just forget it ever happened.
Myles Straw recorded a double and a triple in the loss, and Own Miller added to a growing streak of extra-base hit games with his seventh double of the season. A late-inning implosion negated all of it, however.
Cal Quantrill cruised through the first four innings in typical fashion — no blow-you-away fastballs, but a sinker/slider combination that kept batters off balance. He reached 90 pitches before being pulled, ending his day with 4.2 innings pitched and two strikeouts. The problems started after he was pulled, however.
Cleveland entered the fifth inning with a 1-0 lead and Quantrill twirling a no-hitter. That changed in a hurry as the second batter of the inning recorded a single and the next, Steven Duggar, doubled. After a strikeout and a walk, Quantrill was benched for lefty Logan Allen to face Brandon belt.
Why Allen was chosen here is a question that only Terry Francona knows the answer to. He promptly allowed a hit that scored the runner from third before inducing a fly-out to end the inning. Allen was given a shot at a clean inning in the sixth and he walked the first batter before Trevor Stephan stepped in to finish the frame.
In the eighth, it was the defense's turn to bungle things. Nick Sandlin suffered some horrid luck on a couple of close pitches and bad-luck BABIP, resulting in a bases-loaded, one-out situation with Wilmer Flores at the plate. Flores reached when he hit a ball straight to second baseman Ernie Clement for what could have been an inning-ending double play, but Owen Miller charged in on the ball from first base and wasn’t back in time when Amed Rosario was ready to turn the double play. The result was Amed having to double-clutch and not get the throw in time.
It was an avoidable mess made worse by the fact that Sandlin allowed a run on a wild pitch in the very next at-bat.
Like the rest of the game, the ninth was Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown levels of torment. The offense finally woke up again as Josh Naylor led things off with a single and Miller drew a walk. But at that point, the gas was out of the Guardians lineup — Ernie Clement hit a soft ground ball for an out, pinch-hitter Oscar Mercado struck out in an awful at-bat, and Straw grounded out on the first pitch he saw from a reliever who was struggling with command and already over 20 pitches. Game, Giants.
Steven Kwan’s bat was quiet once again in this game, but he didn’t swing and miss — the hits just didn’t fall for him. Unfortunately, Franmil Reyes did swing and miss. A lot. Where in previous games he was hitting the ball hard and just not getting results, he hardly even made contact tonight. One ball was put in play and three were fouled off compared to three big whiffs and three balls watched for strikes. He finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and hopefully hit rock bottom. It’s all up from here.