If the baseball gods are going to make you play another doubleheader this season, you might as well win them. The Guardians have taken Game 1 one of today’s twofer thanks to Andrés Giménez coming in clutch again and belting a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cleveland a 4-1 lead they wouldn’t give back.
Seeing as it’s a 3 p.m. start on a Monday, the Guards were the only team playing at the moment, so the baseball world — whether they want to or not — was focused on this game. And they all saw Gimenez do something that Guardians fans have been accustomed to at this point. He only need one pitch — an inside slider — that he hit 104 mph and clearing the right field wall by some distance. The real highlight here isn’t even the home run, it’s how the team celebrated after.
During the home run itself, Steven Kwan absolutely lost his mind.
Once in the dugout, it was all screams, smiles, and happy hops from the hottest team in baseball.
Along with the cleanup-hitting Giménez, the heart of the Cleveland order was truly its heart today. José Ramírez provided two hits as the No. 3 hitter, and Oscar Gonzalez was right behind Giménez putting up a pair (including a double) himself. Nolan Jones was the only batter to not reach base as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Aaron Civale has now faced the Tigers in two games since coming off the injured list and he seems like he is rebounding nicely. Surely some of that is pitching against the Tigers, but you still gotta make the pitches, as they say. Today he threw 82 of them, including 36 curveballs, which induced 11 whiffs on 16 swings. Along with 12 called strikes, that’s a sterling 64% CSW rate. Tigers batters managed to put just one of them in play. Simply put, the thing was just unhittable, and after a rough couple of batters to start the game, Civale used it to lock in for six innings and a season-high 10 strikeouts.
He almost didn’t reach double-digit strikes, however, thanks to the legendary, almost mechanical, eagle eye of Tigers manager AJ Hinch. Initially, Harold Castro grounded out to end the sixth inning, but Hinch zoomed into his batter actually striking the ball twice and thus making it a foul ball. So MLB got an extra commercial break and Aaron Civale had to ramp back up after thinking he was done for the day with six innings and nine strikeouts under his belt.
He quickly struck Castro out and padded his own stats.
With the first game in the books, game two is probably already starting as you read this. Go watch Xzavion Curry make his MLB debut why don’t you?