Robbie Ray owned the Cleveland Guardians this afternoon.
It was exactly the kind of pitching performance that, from time to time, makes a certain recap author howl at the moon or stumble into syntactical realms heretofore hypothetical.
For today, let’s keep it plain: In seven shutout innings, Ray allowed three hits and no walks while striking out seven.
Erik Swanson and Paul Sewald swooped in for the eighth and ninth. They, too, kept things tidy.
A couple of home runs carried Seattle’s offense. The first — a three-run shot from the bat of Dylan Moore — busted a scoreless tie. It nearly did not happen. Moore fouled off a 2-2 pitch that Owen Miller appeared to catch while colliding with the protective field netting. Unfortunately, the umpires ruled that he trapped the ball against the netting, and/or that the ball made too much contact with the netting before he fell to the ground and trapped the ball in his lap. Maybe Miller insulted the netting. You never really know with these things.
Regardless, Civale hung a curveball a moment later and Moore did not miss.
The second homer provided a bit of redemption for Ty France. He made a tough error at first last night, but a solo blast to stretch a lead to four can fix a lot.
Enyel De Los Santos and Bryan Shaw pitched scoreless baseball to match their Mariner counterparts. Alas, the defense cannot score runs despite possessing the ball. I blame the Commissioner for this one.
A series split is a fine goal for visits to a west coast foe. They didn’t achieve it this time, but four competitive and entertaining baseball games are fine by me. They’re still leading the division, as well.
- Cleveland threw fewer pitches than Seattle, 118-132 by the final count. I am wondering how often the team with fewer total pitches thrown loses. I am too tired to figure this out so I am going to go with “seven” for now.
- Austin Hedges stole his second base of the season today. The run-scoring activities of the Guardians’ catchers since the All-Star break should not go unappreciated. Entering today’s festivities their 123 wRC+ actually matches the Dodgers during that span. Spiffy.
- Can we, perhaps, find some more spots for Enyel De Los Santos? Probably not. The competition in the Guardians’ bullpen is especially fierce at the moment. There are multiple scoreless inning streaks. Whatever his ongoing usage it’s been nice to know his innings are in steady hands.
- Folks will run around looking for someone to blame for this loss. I’m not sure there’s much to say except that good baseball teams can take 3-4 from anybody, and sometimes you can’t catch a break.
Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to an October rematch.
The Guardians failed to draw a walk. It feels noteworthy given the team’s overall patience and the importance of a leadoff walk to last night’s outcome.
Cleveland enjoys an off-day tomorrow night. Go wild, folks.