The Cleveland Guardians Might Be Good
While many fans have been pouting about the Guardians' name change, the youth movement has rolled through Progressive Field and churned out a surprisingly good ball club.
If you’re a grown adult who won’t watch this team because they have a new name, I need to tell you how much you’ve missed out.
I think most people were writing off this Guardians team because they disliked the ownership, hated the new name, and most people (including me), thought they weren’t going to be competitive. It’s way too early to say this team will compete down the stretch, but at the very worst they’re going to be fun.
Since Jose Ramirez signed his extension, it feels as though the vibes around the team began to shift.
You see players up on the railing cheering each other on, players joking throughout the game, and the team positively interacting with each other on social media sites. It kinda feels like the start of something special brewing here in Cleveland. The city has shown tons of love for the Cavs resurgence and always blindly follows the dumpster fire that is the Browns, now it’s time for the Guards to join in.
Guardians Recent Success
Cleveland's won 15 of their last 19 games, won six straight series, and has the people’s MVP, Jose Ramirez, batting third in the order on a nightly basis, but there’s more than that to love about this team.
The starting rotation has quietly gotten into a very solid groove after a rocky 2021 caused many questions for this season. Shane Beiber has been showing off ace behavior once again, boasting a 2.59 ERA and striking out 12.3 batters per nine innings in the month of June. However, Biebs hasn’t been alone, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill have been the most consistent pieces of this rotation, seeming to give the Guardians a solid 6 innings every time they’ve stepped on the bump.
Despite how dominant those three have been, my favorite part of this team is the bullpen. Other than the Andrew Miller to Cody Allen connection, I’m not sure I’ve ever been this confident when our starters hand the ball over to the bullpen. Cleveland has some straight-up guys coming out of the pen.
Emmanuel Clase. He throws a cutter that reaches 102 MPH and a slider that comes up to 96 mph. Good luck touching any of that, but before he even gets the ball, Eli Morgan comes in to put out any fires on the base paths.
Morgan was a guy I always liked last year, but he always seemed to give up the untimely home runs. His change-up was always solid, but now it might just be untouchable. Clase is most likely to get an All-Star selection if anyone from our bullpen gets one, but Morgan’s been the real ace reliever. He’s fulfilling the Andrew Miller role that this team has desperately needed for a few years, and he’s one of the best relievers in the big leagues.
The pitching has been great, but the most surprising thing about this team is the young guys are hitting. After last season, I wasn’t sold on Josh Naylor, Andres Giminez, or Owen Miller. All three of those guys have proved me wrong so far and the contributions of Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez to an already young lineup are huge as well. The bats still have some glaring holes, (looking at you Austin Hedges) but they’re making this season at the very least, quite enjoyable to watch night in and night out.
Maybe you haven’t watched a minute of Guardians’ baseball this season. If you’ve written off this team for good, you’re missing out on the start of something very special on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Lastly, if you wrote off your city's baseball team because they changed their name, but haven’t even batted an eye at all of the stuff going on in the Browns organization, maybe it’s time to get you’re priorities checked. One seems a little worse than the other, but that’s just me.
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