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Three Takeaways From Cleveland Guardians Crushing Loss in New York
After a Game 2 blown save against the Yankees, nobody in Cleveland was talking about the loss.
Myles Straw made a statement by nearly climbing into the bleachers to confront a fan who was chirping an injured Steven Kwan. Then, when things seemed to cool off, the Gleyber Torres would hit a walk-off single, and a barrage of drinks was poured down on Guardians outfielder Oscar Mercado. The entire dugout ran out to defend Mercado, and as the game ended the entire team walked out of the ballpark as one.
Honestly, it seemed like a made-for-Hollywood type of start to something special.
The team was defending each other during their post-game interviews and it was beautiful to see. I hadn’t seen a Cleveland baseball team united like this since the 2016 postseason run.
Then Sunday happened.
Aaron Civale threw an absolute stinker on the bump and the bats went cold for the first eight innings. The order was dominated by Gerritt Cole and the entire team seemed sluggish from start to end. It was a crushing loss.
You can't talk all this smack the game before and then get swept. Not only did we destroy any emotional momentum we had built up, but we might’ve just kick-started a red-hot Yankee run. I kinda expected this Guardians team to struggle, so beating the Yankees can always salvage a crappy season, but they couldn’t even do that.
Worried About Civale?
More importantly than just losing, I have some serious concerns about Civale in the five-hole of the rotation. His numbers seemed solid last season, but that man fell off a cliff during the second half of the year and maybe was just a guy who could get his pitches to spin more with the sticky stuff.
I have already voiced my concerns that the second half of last season wasn’t just a fluke, it was more of an HD picture of what is to come. It might not be the worst thing to see what we have with some of our young pitchers in AAA, because when Daniel Espino (currently in AA) is ready for the big leagues, he will have himself a spot in the rotation.
Guardians Bullpen Woes
My other ginormous concern shockingly isn’t the bats, but the bullpen. I don’t trust a single-player out of the pen. Maybe Trevor Stephan works out, but at this point, I don’t even really trust Emmanuel Clase or Nick Sandlin to get us three outs. We have to make a move for a reliever before we kill our season. We can't keep throwing Bryan Shaw and company out there to blow games and make already existing leads insurmountable.
I hate to say a series is a must-win when we haven’t finished ten percent of the season, but this series in Anaheim certainly feels that way. The Guardians need to win at least two out of four against the Angels to keep the fans interested in the season and to show ownership that if we make a few moves we could have a complete unit. Maybe I’m overreacting to a disappointing loss, but I have an odd feeling that this road trip could make or break the season.
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