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Royals outlast Cleveland 1-0 in defensive showcase

Bobby Witt Jr. has infiltrated the Steven Kwan hype train. Alert. Alert. Al—

Cleveland Guardians v Kansas City Royals
Snider (doused) made his MLB debut today.
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Raul Mondesi singled in the tenth to plate the only run in Kansas City’s 1-0 defeat of Cleveland. Starters Zach Plesac and Brad Keller dictated the game’s pace and hitter’s choices, working from ahead and forcing hitters to guess or react rather than attack. In 11.2 IP combined, the two allowed only five hits and a walk.

In such a runner-poor environment, the first team to take advantage of an opportunity often wins. This proved to be the case again today, but on an afternoon when several players submitted Web Gem applications, the final flourish of the day prove to be deciding.

Oscar Mercado came to the plate with runners on the corners and one out in the tenth. He smacked a roller to Bobby Witt Jr. He snared it, then threw the ball to home from what appeared to be Rotated High Crescent Lunge.

Salvador Perez reached across his body to corral the throw, then twisted and slapped a tag into the thigh of Owen Miller just before he hooked the plate with his cleats.

Yu Chang fished for three sliders to end the top half and then the Royals took care of business in the bottom. So closes the first Saturday of 2022 Guardians baseball.

Corner Pieces

  • Though stick-wizardry caused many a scout to fall in love with him this spring, Steven Kwan showed that his glove is just as fantastic. A liner sank toward the turf, but Kwan adjust his angle and laid out, snagging the ball just above the grass. And, he did not separate a shoulder.
  • In the bottom of the sixth inning, Zach Plesac took a line-drive to the back. Amed Rosario followed the deflection and completed the catch, converting the strangest out I’ve seen in Cleveland since the Hacky Zach. There is a fairly uneven history in regards to players getting hit by balls in Cleveland, but lately the results have been entertaining?
  • Tom Hamilton continued his ongoing hagiography of the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals in the top of the 7th inning by suggesting that they have built another Herrera/Holland/Davis type of bullpen. For today, his musings proved relevant. I GUESS.
  • I’m usually debating whether or not to start the recap in the 7th inning right about now. Somehow, we got through ten in about three hours flat. Neat!

Wait, What?

Walk off hits are deserving of a little extra. If it’s clutch, it’s clutch, and you earned it.

What’s next?

Cleveland travels to the hotel.

After that, I assume they will eat dinner, maybe debrief at some point before “curfew”, and then show up tomorrow for a final game against the Royals.