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Guardians sink Shane McClanahan en route to 5-3 win

The Rays’ All-Star left after allowing three but both runners left aboard scored thanks to Austin Hedges.

Cleveland Guardians v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

And so Bryan Shaw opened for Terry Francona a second time, and the Guardians won.

They did it by harassing All-Star Shane McClanahan with bunts and singles.

Bunts. And singles.

Nine total hits.

Add the four walks, and people who pay attention will notice that all thirteen of those runners reached scoring position.

With bunts, and singles, and baserunning.

I’m sorry that this baseball team isn’t a bunch of longball smashers for chicks to dig. I’m sorry that they aren’t lighting up spreadsheet formulas. I’m sorry that the manager values things like trust, consistency, reliability, and accountability over what some retiree with a Twitter handle thinks.

Here’s what it is:

A winning team that is in contention to steal the division thanks to the best manager in baseball, a legitimate MVP candidate (non-Judge category), and some exceptional defense. They won again today.

I am not sure if That Guy For Whom You Think They Should Trade would have helped. That’s a pretty big part to fit into a well-oiled machine that already runs fine. I also think there are some very compatible parts waiting in the minors, but my goodness, do not get me started on that here in this,

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Corner Pieces

  • The Cleveland Guardians lead all of baseball in outfield assists (28). Steven Kwan nailed yet another dude at home today.
  • Kirk McCarty pitched another nifty 3.1 innings of long relief. Again, this resembles the piggybacking scheme that the team deploys throughout many levels of the minor leagues. Might it be that the Guardians promoted a once-weekly pitching strategy?
  • Steven Kwan also bunted the first dang pitch for a single. The Academy of Bunting Sciences is rapturous.
  • Remember that griping about the bottom of the order? Austin Hedges played hero today with a two-out, two-RBI single. Alex Call walked twice, scored, and earned a hit. Ernie Clement singled. Myles Straw singled twice and drove two in.

Wait, what?

Franmil Reyes stole third base when he caught Yandy Díaz snoozing. I reluctantly acknowledge this badassery.

What’s next?

Screw it, run and bunt them to into the ground.