I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached spring training levels of “I don’t care who wins, I just don’t want anyone to be hurt.”
The Guardians walked off the Rays tonight, 2-1, in the 10th. It was their second consecutive extra-innings game that included a rain delay in as many days, and frankly, I’d prefer if they would stop doing that please.
With Amed Rosario and Myles Straw on the bench to start, and José Ramírez at designated hitter, the Guards were running out their A- lineup as they shuffle guys around to make sure everyone is rested for the postseason next week. It was a chance for some younger guys to shine, and as they have done all season, they definitely shined.
Gabriel Arias, starting at third base, stole the spotlight early with his first-career home run in the third inning. He crushed a fastball high and inside from Tyler Glasnow at 108.5 mph and an estimated 403 feet.
In the very next at-bat, Will Brennan recorded the hardest hit of his young career at a game-high 108.8 mph. Unfortunately, his didn’t quite have the lift of his fellow rookie, and it was a single. Glasnow locked back in, and quickly retired Luke Maile, Steven Kwan, and Tyler Freeman to end the inning.
Triston McKenzie turned in a solid six innings of work like clockwork — six strikeouts and just one earned run off three hits. He was pulled after a conservative 88 pitches, 54 of which were four-seamers to go with 21 curveballs and 13 sliders.
McKenzie was out before the rain caused a delay, leaving the seventh inning to Sam Hentges, who promptly loaded the bases. If the final score of this one had an impact on the Guardians’ playoff odds, it would have been an anxiety-inducing delay with the bases loaded in a tie game. Luckily, it didn’t matter. And even more, luckily, Eli Morgan immediately got a double play to close out the inning when the tarp came off the field.
Both offenses went mostly silent from there on out until Amed Rosario pinch-hit for Luke Maile with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th. He took the first pitch he saw, flipped into the right field, and gave the Guardians their 87th win of the season.
Best of all? Nobody was hurt.