After playing two divisional opponents this week, we fans learned a lot about where the Guardians stand. The week was filled with many ups and downs but it also showed that the Guardians can be contenders in the AL Central soon.
This Team Does Not Quit
If there is one thing that we learned about this Guardians team this week is that no matter what the score is or any part of the game they are at, this team does not quit. This was on full display this week in both series.
Monday night against the White Sox was a prime example of this. Even with the team down six runs going into the ninth, they found a way to fight back and eventually get the win. This was a large part thanks to Josh Naylor’s two home runs and eight RBI that came after the eighth inning.
Then in Saturday night’s contest against the Twins, the Guardians showed their resilience once again. In a low-scoring game, the Guardians and Twins went into extra innings tied at one to one. Andres Gimenez immediately came up and crushed a double to right field allowing Ernie Clement to score from second.
However, with the new extra inning rule, one run is not a safe lead and Myles Straw knew that. With Gimenez on second after his double, Straw slapped one into right field allowing Gimenez to score. Even though Straw had been slumping at the plate going 0-21 in past games, he still fought when the team needed him to.
It’s this kind of baseball that not only makes a team better but also makes it fun for fans to watch because we know even if the team is down, they have the mindset that they can always make a comeback.
It Is Time To Be Concerned About The Starting Pitching
Year in and year out, baseball fans from around the league say how good the Guardians pitching is. However, this year that hasn’t quite been the case.
The Guardians team ERA sits at 4.18. This is well above the league average of 3.83 and ranks bottom six in the league. This is definitely not what fans were expecting heading into the season.
At the beginning of the season, it was easy to say that this increased ERA had something to do with the lockout and the shortened Spring Training, but now 33 games into the season we can say it is truly something to be concerned about.
Last week Aaron Civale gave up six earned runs to the Twins in only 4.2 innings pitched. Shane Bieber’s fastball velocity has been significantly down this season and is only in the 9th percentile compared to the rest of the MLB. Finally, Cal Quantrill also treaded water this week against the White Sox allowing four earned runs in 6.1 innings of work.
The offense has been able to score runs and help the team get wins, but there is something wrong with the pitching that needs to get fixed.
The silver lining is that we have seen all of these pitchers perform at a high level before, so we know there are good pitchers in them. Now it is time to get them back to those pitchers they once were.
The Guardians Can Be AL Central Contenders
The Guardians faced off against two divisional opponents last week and played them respectably. They split the two-game set against the White Sox and have already swept them once this year. They ended up losing the series against the Twins 1-2, but each game was relatively close with the largest victory coming in game one.
I know that moral victories do not count in the win column, but a lot of people had the Guardians at the bottom of the division before the season started. If this week showed us fans anything it’s that this team can hang with the top teams in the division, and once they get the pitching figured out, they can contend to win it.
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