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Stellar pitching leads Guardians to sweep over Royals

Do you have a minute to talk about Eli Morgan’s changeup?

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

This could probably be an article all on its own, but the Guardians can’t hide Eli Morgan in the bullpen much longer. Tonight he and his ludicrous changeup held down two innings in the Guardians’ 4-0 win over the Royals.

Morgan wasn’t the only standout pitcher, though. Rookie Konnor Pilkington turned in career highs in innings (5.0) and strikeouts (8) in today’s win. But enough about Konnor, LOOK AT THIS CHANGEUP.

This is the exact reason Morgan rose through the minors on his way to the big league club despite not being a hulking flamethrower on the mound. Today he threw that changeup 10 times and half of those were either watched for a called strike or whiffed on. And now that Morgan is approaching the mid-90s with his four-seamer? Things are looking mighty bright for him.

Start-to-finish domination from the pitching staff is a cozy feeling as a Cleveland Guardians baseball writer, let me tell you. It hasn’t been often this year, but watching them shut down the Royals as they did today was beautiful. Fifteen total strikeouts as a team and a pair of perfect innings from Bryan Shaw and Emmanuel Clase to end it was pure art.

On the offensive side, Steven Kwan recorded his first multi-hit game in over two weeks and it looks like maybe — just maybe — he’s breaking out of his slump that basically dates back to his 5-for-5 day on April 10.

The Royals opted not to walk José Ramírez, but they did give him a base for free, basically. A mix-up between old friend Carlos Santana at the Royals pitcher allowed José to narrowly reach on a weakly hit ball between first and second. Seeing Carlos struggle like that isn’t fun, but he made up for it with a diving play later in the inning (to the roar of the still-supportive Progress Field crowd).

Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, and Richie Palacios rounded out the bulk of the offensive production with two hits apiece.