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Guardians pitchers allow two hits, still lose


St. Louis Cardinals v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Tanner Bibee’s biggest problem tonight was that he wasn’t flawless. He was about as close as a pitcher can get without entering the history books, but not quite there. Sorry kid, that won’t get it done here.

Bibee’s excellent outing concluded after the sixth inning with a final line of 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO. The only run came off of a solo home run, and he only allowed four hard-hit balls all night, along with a game-high 19 whiffs. The late break on his slider seems to be getting better and snappier with every game as he gets more comfortable. The kid was electric tonight and deserved better than what the offense gave him. We all deserve better than that, to be fair.

Luckily his outing ended on a third out because James Karinchak clearly didn’t have it tonight. He came in to pitch the seventh with the bases empty and no outs and left with them loaded and no outs. Terry Francona's insistence on using him at all in a tie game is ludicrous, but at least he came in and was able to discover his arm was a wet noodle before any damage was done. It just required Sam Hentges to come in and utterly dominate the next three batters to keep the game at a 1-1 tie.

The Cardinals’ only other run came in the top of the 10th when the Manfred runner stole third base and then home on a wild pitch from Nick Sandlin. It only took five pitches to dispatch the Guards in the bottom of the frame. So, with that, they lost, 2-1, despite outhitting their opponent, 8-2.

It wasn’t the lack of hits that doomed the Guardians, but the lack of hits when it mattered, from those who are supposed to be putting together meaningful at-bats. Amed Rosario, José Ramírez, and Josh Naylor all had two hits, but Josh Bell was blanked and continually drove the ball straight into the ground and Andrés Giménez looked overwhelmed in practically every at-bat.

It’s ugly out there, and it’s getting harder to justify whatever it is this team is trying to do — or not to do — every night. To put it another way:

Go get some sleep. The Guardians will attempt to ruin your afternoon tomorrow.