No energy, no leaders, no direction. The Cleveland Guardians offense is in an utter tailspin right now and it’ll take a minor miracle for them to claw out of it. They can climb out of it, and they probably will at some point, but it’ll seem like a miracle when they finally do.
Tonight, as they did last night, Guardians batters routinely left men on base and in scoring position. They were 3-for-14 with an opportunity to score and stranded eight total runners, including the free runner in the top of the 10th inning. Amed Rosario struck out three times, including once in that extra inning.
The hardest hit ball tonight was a 107.4-mph Jake Bauers home. A Jake Bauers home run. The hardest hit by a Guardian was a 102.9-mph single by Josh Bell. The six hardest-hit balls were by Yankee hitters.
The only light that the Guardians saw toward the end of the game was thanks to another vintage Aaron Boone bullpen decision. He decided to pull a reliever who retired five-straight batters in exchange for Clay Holmes. As they usually do against Holmes, the Guardians got a couple of hits and gained a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth ...
.... only to have Emmanuel Clase lose it in the bottom of the ninth. If comfort with the pitch clock is Clase’s issue, perhaps the discomfort of the rain — in addition to the pitch clock — made him look so pedestrian tonight. Whatever it was, he looked cooked from the moment he took the mound. He managed to hit 98 mph with the cutter, but aside from a first-pitch slider that fooled Anthony Rizzo, he didn’t induce a whiff. Oh, and Rizzo singled anyway.
Shane Bieber was on a furious pace at one point tonight, with barely over 30 pitches through four innings, but he lost the Maddux bid in the fifth inning with Willie Calhoun and Jake Bauers solo shots. A modern-day murderer’s row if there ever was one. Bieber looked great today, though — at least as much as post-velocity Bieber can look. The loss isn’t on him.
This loss is on an offense that can’t find a barrel to save their lives and a bullpen that could really use a day off. Luckily they get one tomorrow.