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Guardians bullpen holds a lead

Cleveland splits an excruciating series with the Blue Jays

Texas Rangers v. Cleveland Guardians Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Hello Covering the Corner reader, this is is a quick post to let you know that the Cleveland Guardians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Thursday, August 10th.

Noah Syndergaard turned in a solid performance for the Guardians and did not allow a home run (!) going 5 and 2/3rds innings, giving up six hits and two walks and striking out five. Did our Syndergaurdian give up 8 hard-hit balls? Yes, yes he did. Did he have some good defense behind him from a newly revamped Guardians’ defense featuring Brayan Rocchio at third and Jose Tena at short? Yes, yes, he did. Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth.

The aforementioned Rocchio got to hit leadoff today, with Steven Kwan getting rested, and he had two doubles, two hard-hit balls, two RBI and a run scored as well as some excellent plays at third base. Tena got his first major league start and delivered two hits, a double and a single, an RBI and a run scored, including a hard-hit ball. I know I was among those curious as to how long Tena would last on the 40-man, but it’s clear he has some value as a shortstop who is able to hit Alex Manoah and has a glove that looks pretty dang good, as the scouts say. Bo Naylor and Andres Gimenez took important walks and scored important runs. Jose Ramirez was still off his game at the plate, but still found himself intentionally walked twice and saw his team take a 4-1 lead.

After Sandlin got his patented one-out to end an inning, however, it was Enyel De Los Santos’s turn to fall apart, as he gave up 2 runs and failed to record an out in relief of Syndergaard. But, The Good Version of Trevor Stephan is back and he came in to clean up the mess, dealing with a pesky Alejandro Kirk 10-pitch at-bat in the process. Remarkably, we then saw a drama-free eighth inning from much-maligned Sam Hentges and a stress-free 9th for Emmanuel Clase. The Cleveland faithful returned home happy, trying not to think of the fact that their starting pitchers gave up only 2 runs in 26 innings this series and yet the team still managed to lose 2 games.

Hey, Minnesota lost to the Tigers AGAIN, so Cleveland is still only 3.5 back in the division race. I can’t say a run at the division is likely, but it must be frustrating to be a Twins fan right now and that makes me smile. Brayan Rocchio success also makes me smile. It can’t be a GREAT sign for Gabriel Arias that Kole Calhoun got a start over him today, but I imagine it was a good chance for a reset, for both Arias and Oscar Gonzalez. I did not mind not seeing them swing an miss at pitches inside and outside the zone, respectively, today, but am ready for more at-bats for both of them starting Friday as the Guardians travel to Florida for a 3-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.