The Guardians beat the Rangers 2-1 behind a game-tying RBI bloop hit from Tyler Freeman, who had entered the game to replace Jose Tena at shortstop, and a go-ahead RBI opposite field single from Steven Kwan. Just like that, the 2022 Guardians are back! Enyel De Los Santos, Sam Hentges, Reynaldo Lopez and Emmanuel Clase were dominant in relief of Tanner Bibee who pitched 5 and 1⁄3 good innings...
“Why only 5 and 1⁄3?” you ask? Well, Tanner Bibee hurt his hip on a play in the fourth inning at first base and told the team. The Guardians let him keep pitching afterwards. He got hit on the foot the next inning. The Guardians let him keep pitching. Then Carl Willis noticed his delivery was off and two pitches later, Tanner Bibee limped off the mound. Why didn’t the Guardians take Bibee out after he said he’d hurt his hip? I don’t know. Why didn’t Tito go to the mound as soon as Willis told him something was off? Search me.
Tanner Bibee left tonight's game with right hip tightness.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) September 17, 2023
I’m not opposed to the rookie starters continuing to throw, but I’d definitely like the team to be far more aggressive in stopping them from throwing. Bibee is competing for a Rookie of the Year award, I get it. But, let’s not pretend the Guardians are making the playoffs, and let’s not let pursuit of individual award get in the way of future team success.
For what it’s worth, Bibee said he thinks he’s all right. It’s also not an arm injury, thankfully, but pitchers need their legs to pitch just as much as their arm. I’m no doctor, but it seems pretty clearly time to shut Bibee down for the season and thank him for an amazing debut.
We were also treated to another high leverage plate appearance from Myles Straw, who popped out before Freeman’s and Kwan’s heroics. Coming into the night, Straw had a 15 wRC+ in 62 high leverage plate appearances in 2023. He had a 38 wRC+ in 218 high leverage plate appearances in his career. 156 of those appearances have come while he has been in Cleveland. His wRC+ in those high leverage appearances in Cleveland is 5. I don’t know what you should do with this information, and I also know Terry Francona sure as heck does not know what to do with this information.
The Guardians will send another rookie hurler to the mound in Gavin Williams to try to sweep the series vs. the Rangers... who, I’d like to remind you, are currently in playoff position. So, that’s fun!
Around the Minors:
The Clippers lost 5-2, George Valera had a hit and a walk and Jhonkensy Noel hit another home run, his 27th of the season. Johnathan Rodriguez has 28 between Columbus and Akron. It’s crazy to think that the Guardians are in desperate need of right-handed power and these admittedly flawed prospects cannot buy a major league look in a lost September. Maybe that changes for the last week of September when Columbus’s season wraps up on the 24th? I doubt it. Speaking of wrapping up, Akron finishes their season tomorrow, and they won 9-2 on Saturday, as Petey Halpin had 2 hits and Chase Delauter had a hit and a walk.