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Guardians utterly lifeless in 5-0 loss to Padres

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at San Diego Padres Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

I sincerely hope you’re reading this because you didn’t stay up to watch the game.

Simply put, it was a tale of two lineups.

The Padres’ lineup grinded Guardians starting pitcher Aaron Civale into dust. He threw 95 pitches in 3.2 innings. To his credit, Civale only allowed a pair of solo home runs to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, both of which barely cleared the wall in left field. But he labored through nearly every at-bat, walking a batter in each of the first four innings. Civale exited with seven strikeouts to his name, but the Padres made him earn every one of those punch-outs.

The Cleveland bullpen took over took over from the fourth inning onward. In the sixth inning, with Sam Hentges on the mound, Tatis lined out a two-out double into the corner in left field. He then proceeded to steal third base. Not that he needed to, but with Mike Zunino behind home plate, third base was there for the taking. It worked out beautifully, as the very next pitch was in the dirt and Zunino failed to block it, allowing Tatis to score. It only got worse with the next pitch, which Juan Soto deposited into the seats in left field, extending San Diego’s lead to 4-0.

Nelson Cruz’s solo shot off Xzavion Curry in the eighth inning made it 5-0.

Meanwhile, the Guardians were non-competitive offensively. Padres starting pitcher Michael Wacha was efficient through 6.2 shutout innings, barely breaking a sweat while only allowing four hits and one walk. He retired 18 of the first 20 batters he faced. It wasn’t until the seventh inning that Cleveland managed to even put a runner in scoring position.

After a Jose Ramirez single, Josh Bell lined a two-out single to right field to put runners on first and third. Andres Gimenez drew a walk, loading the bases and ending Wacha’s night. San Diego reliever Steven Wilson came in and struck out Myles Straw to end the inning.

Gabriel Arias pinch-hit for Will Brennan in the eighth inning — a bizarre decision considering the Padres put a left-handed reliever on the mound and Arias has a -1 wRC+ against left-handers this season — and worked an eight-pitch walk, surprisingly. But before anyone could get too excited, Zunino grounded into a double play to erase Arias from the basepaths.

The icing on the cake came in the ninth inning. Amed Rosario led off the inning with a single to right field but took a hard turn around first base and got doubled off by a throw from Tatis. Replays suggested Rosario beat the tag, but the replay crew disagreed and the out call stood.

San Diego will go for the sweep on Thursday.