Maybe The Guardians Do Have Talent After All
The Guardians did it again.
Another late-inning explosion leads to Cleveland claiming the regular season tie-breaker against the entire AL Central and their magic number decreased to just nine games.
Shockingly, White Sox fans haven’t been taking this collapse very well. All year long they’ve complained about the Guardians “playing old-school baseball”, or “not being as skilled”, but maybe this team has some talent?
There's No Debate, The Guardians Have Talent
Tweeting "the Guardians don't have talent" just doesn't make sense. Jose Ramirez is a top 10 player in baseball and Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie are Cy Young candidates. Those three are stars, but as a whole, this team doesn’t have pure “star talent”. Maybe that’s what Dave means in his tweet, but the Guardians do a lot of things really well.
I understand the AL Central is bad, but someone had to win the division, and they wouldn’t be a “bad team”. The Guardians are similar to the 2015 Kansas City Royals in the sense that they play baseball the right way.
Their starters eat up innings, the bats draw walks and generate a lot of contact, and the bullpen closes things down.
An elite bullpen can make or break a team in big games. It shortens games for your starters and makes it so your offense always has a chance to make a late comeback. The top of the Cleveland lineup makes a lot of contact, causing frequent late-inning rallies based on soft contact.
They’re able to slowly bleed opposing pitchers to death. Also, most of the roster can steal bases as well, making them even more dangerous.
Defense Deserves More Praise
What I feel has been the most unsung part of this Guardians team is its defense. Myles Straw and Steven Kwan are both top four in outfield assists this year, leading an outfield that is first in baseball for DRS (defensive runs saved).
The infield has some weaknesses, but they haven’t had many big errors this year. They don’t save runs, but they aren’t costing you runs either. There’s a reason that this team is third in baseball for DRS.
With all of those positives, maybe the Guardians were always the better team. They aren’t the most flashy, but it works. Ultimately, this is just the start of something brewing here in Cleveland. The reinforcements are on their way in the next few seasons.
Right now, it’s clean, fundamental baseball; however, the flash is coming and the league needs to be on notice.
Some people can't just appreciate the good in something if it doesn't benefit themselves, like the Guardians just being a young and electric team that people around the league love to watch.
Saying things like you would rather live in Chinese Detention Camps than Cleveland is a little absurd and extreme, but I guess that's what some fall back on when their below-average team doesn't show up for an entire season.
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