What a week for the Guardians! Despite the horrendous Cleveland weather, the Guardians were still able to get a massive series win over the weekend and get a split with a National League playoff contender. This allowed us to learn a lot about what this team is made of.
Do We Need To Worry About Bieber?
So yes, there have been times this season when Shane Bieber has looked like the Cy Young winner he once was. But there have also been times when he has looked far from it.
Saturday’s start in game one against the Blue Jays showed that it might be time to start getting a little nervous about Shane Bieber.
Without diving too deep into advanced analytics, I will leave that to this story, Bieber has just not looked himself this season.
Using the eye test, there have been many cases of Bieber struggling for command and struggling to pitch for strikes. Saturday was an example of this as Bieber consistently was missing high and out of the zone.
Bieber knows that he has to be better especially when it comes to command saying, “It was just lack of command, lack of getting ahead, which led to lack of conviction. Overall, just pretty frustrating.”
It’s important to point out that Bieber has not been horrible by any means, we fans have just grown to have high expectations for the great pitcher. Shane Bieber is a fantastic pitcher and I feel confident he will be able to fix the areas where he is struggling.
Franmil Has His Mojo Back
How great is it to see Franmil Reyes doing Franmil Reyes things again? It has been a struggle for the designated hitter to put it lightly. But last week showed he is putting that behind him and is ready to be the middle of the lineup threat he was last year.
Franmil is currently on a six-game hitting streak where he is batting .522 with five RBI and a home run.
The biggest thing that fans saw this weekend that showed that Franmil is truly breaking out of his slump was his ability to hit the ball to the opposite field. This shows that he is seeing the ball a lot better at the plate and is able to take control of his at bats.
My favorite thing that Franmil Reyes did last week was finally smiling. There have not been too many reasons for Franmil to smile at the start of the season, but that looks to be in the past.
For some more information on Franmil Reyes’ struggle and redemption, read this story.
The Guardians Are Not A Power Team But They Can Still Score Runs
So far on the season, the Guardians have hit 22 home runs. This is three home runs below the league average of 25, yet the Guardians still find a way to score.
They are tied with the New York Mets for the fourth most runs scored in all of Major League Baseball with 128. This is very impressive considering that the Mets have not lost a series yet.
So how come the Guardians have been able to score so much without hitting home runs? The key has been the Guardians' success with runners in scoring position. With RISP, the Guardians are hitting .302 with 106 RBI and 108 runs scored.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Guardians won while scoring eight runs. They were able to score on 11 hits and only one home run from Franmil Reyes. This is an example of how well this team is with RISP.
This is important because even though the Guardians have not been a power team so far, they certainly have the potential to be. With guys such as Franmil Reyes, Josh Naylor, and Jose Ramirez in the lineup, there is always a threat for pitchers to give up a home run. Combining this with the Guardians' ability to hit with runners in scoring position could make for a very dangerous lineup as the season progresses.
What we learned about this week though is that the Guardians do not need to be a power-hitting team to beat teams who are. The Padres and Blue Jays are both teams with plenty of power hitters on them, but the Guardians were still able to find success against them.
The Guardians kick off a very important week as they head to Chicago for three games with the White Sox and then up to Minnesota to get their first glimpse at this year's Twins. With two divisional series up next, we are sure to learn about the Guardians this week!
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