Maybe the Guardians are just used to 8 p.m. starts. After three straight, they finally played one at 7 p.m. again tonight, but the offense forgot to show up until an hour into the game. Yet, despite being no-hit by Glenn Otto through four innings, they came back to win, 4-2, thanks to Oscar Gonzalez’s slump-busting power outburst.
Gonzalez, who hadn’t homered since Sept. 14 coming into the game, hit two tonight. His first broke up the improbable no-hitter in the fifth inning, and was hit a few rows into Globe Life Park’s left-field bleachers at a measly 99.1 mph. The second was hit at 110.4 mph and went 433 feet to straight away center field, according to Statcast. The video makes it look like it barely cleared the 407-foot wall, but every Rangers camera is in the stratosphere so it’s hard to tell any kind of distance over there.
Andrés Giménez would add to the dinger party in the seventh with his 17th of the season. He also added a double earlier in the game for his fourth multi-extra-base-hit game of the year. He’s also riding a six-game hitting streak, and he also has four multi-hit games in that span. He’s been the definition of a quiet superstar this season, especially lately.
If there was one downside to this game, it’s that José Ramírez looked generally awful at the plate. The Rangers intentionally walked him in the eighth and they probably did him a favor. Even more concerning, Texas pitchers had a very clear path to attack him — throw him everything away. Luckily he didn’t swing at most of them, but when he did swing it was an easy out.
Take it as a positive that they’re still afraid to give him anything over the plate, I guess, but it was still just a frustrating day offensively for the All-Star. Still plenty of time to get things right before the postseason, however.
On the mound, Cal Quantrill managed to go toe-to-toe with the pitching juggernaut known as Glenn Otto. He struck out four in his six innings of work, allowing one earned run off of five hits and three walks. Cal rode his signature cutter/sinker combination to the win, with the pair accounting for 69 of his 83 pitches.
Emmanuel Clase would close out the game in the ninth, but maybe it’s time to let the big man have a break for a couple of days. He gave up a home run in the save — just his third of the season and first since July — and he’s pitched four times in the last four days. Even when he’s escaped unscathed lately he hasn’t looked like the unhittable machine that he was for long stretches of the season. The division is all but wrapped up at this point, maybe it’s time to give the howitzer time to cool off before the games start counting again.
Regardless, the Guardians took the win and they’ll have a chance to clinch the AL Central with a win tomorrow, thanks to the Tigers once again taking it to the White Sox. All the Guardians have to do is take care of their business and they’ll officially be postseason bound.