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News and Notes: McKenzie Shows Rust as Guards fall to Orioles 5-1

News and Notes for Monday September 25th

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Guardians Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports

First lets start with the positive, Triston McKenzie threw 52 pitches in a Major League Baseball game yesterday. Regardless of the result this is reason for optimism about McKenzie’s ability to come back from the myriad of arm problems he’s had this year as well as the likelihood that he will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery this offseason.

Now for the negative. Of the 52 pitches Triston threw yesterday only 19 crossed the plate for a strike. McKenzie’s final tally on the day was 1.2 innings pitched, 1H, 3ER. 6BB!, 0K. This is certainly not the kind of start we were hoping for out of him but as I said earlier the mere fact that he was out there at all with anything even resembling his normal velocity on the mound is massively encouraging.

Unfortunately, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, the Guardians pedestrian offense was unable to overcome an early 3-0 lead by the Baltimore Orioles as they would lose 5-1, falling to 74-83 on the year. With that 83rd loss the Guardians have now locked up their worst record of any year in Terry Francona’s tenure as manager.

The Guardians will start their final home series of the year on Tuesday with two games against the Cincinnati Reds. Lucas Giolito is scheduled to face Hunter Greene in the opener as the Guardians seek to claim the Ohio Cup. Notably, Cincinnati is 2.5 games back of Chicago for the third National League wild card spot, these are must win games for the Reds.

Minor league Recap:

In their final game of the season, the Columbus Clippers fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers by a final score of 3-2.

The Clippers only runs came on this 2-run blast by Shortstop Brayan Rocchio for his 7th on the year.

It was a bullpen day for Columbus as 9 pitchers logged an inning each. Cade Smith recorded the loss after giving up a 2-run home run to Storm chasers catcher José Briceño as the Clippers fell to 68-79 to end the season.

George Valera was a late scratch from the Clippers’ lineup on Sunday after taking a pitch off the wrist in the previous game. There was some good news, however, as nothing is feared to be broken and his removal from the lineup was precautionary. Valera has battled injuries most of his career, including surgery to remove the hamate bone in his right hand. I know I speak for all Guardians fans when I say we can all breathe a little easier knowing Valera will not need another surgery and will likely have a normal, healthy offseason.

Question of the Day:

As we enter the final home series with Terry Francona as manager, what was your favorite Tito moment during his time at the helm in Cleveland?

For me it’s a tie between him asking umpire Angel Hernandez “why is it always when you’re here?” and when he said “it’s not funny.... but” after the Ramirez/Anderson brawl.