The Cleveland Guardians put up a white flag with their lineup tonight, and it went exactly how you would expect. With the old brittle bones of Steven Kwan and Andrés Giménez unable to play two full games in a split doubleheader, it was up to everyone else (including a visibly injured José Ramírez) to battle the best team in baseball.
Let’s start with a positive, because the negatives were the majority of the game. Aaron Civale’s curveball looked great. Outside of one rough inning and being in the game for one inning too long, he looked like a guy who can keep his ERA under 4.00 tonight. His big looping curveball accounted for 32 of his pitches and induced nine whiffs on 14 swings. He controlled it well, and the only contact off it was weak.
Half of Civale’s four earned runs came after he was out of the game when started the seventh, allowed the first two batters to reach base, then was replaced by Enyel De Los Santos, who promptly imploded. It took De Los Santos eight batters to get three outs, and by then four runs had scored, including the two that Civale let on before he left.
Cleveland scored first on a first-inning home run ... but they didn’t score again.
Ramírez did manage a double late in the game ... but it came after three strikeouts.
The Guardians lineup loaded the bases twice ... but they came out scoreless both times.
Bryan Shaw almost had an immaculate inning ... but it was a 6-1 game.
I survived watching this game ... but I had to watch the whole thing.
You can see how it becomes hard to find positives about losing another rough game to a playoff team like the Yankees. That whole “we’re younger than any other major-league team and any Triple-A team” flex tastes different when you get outscored 19-5 in a nine-hour span.
They’ll have a chance to rebound tomorrow. If the Guardians are honest with themselves, it should probably be without José Ramírez — if even for a couple of days — and it sure as hell should be with a lineup that includes Andrés Giménez.