These Cleveland Guardians just don’t quit
After Wednesday’s 7-6 victory over the Twins, the Guardians continue to show they’re built for the long haul.
The Cleveland Guardians – the youngest team in Major League Baseball and all of Triple-A to boot – just don’t quit. They battle until the last out of the game, which, after Josh Naylor’s walk-off home run Wednesday night, now means the Guardians have three wins this season when trailing by 3+ runs in the ninth inning or later.
To put that in some context, the rest of MLB has five wins combined in that scenario, and no other team has more than one.
It’s certainly not ideal to keep entering the ninth inning or later down at least three runs, but at the end of the day, it’ll still show up as a win in the standings.
Cleveland entered the bottom of the tenth Wednesday down 6-3 after a demoralizing top half of the inning in which pinch-hitter Carlos Correa singled in a run and Guardians nemesis Max Kepler hit a two-run homer.
Rather than packing it in for the night, the Guardians went to work, cutting the deficit to one run on an Amed Rosario double and Steven Kwan scoring on a passed ball. And down to his last strike, Naylor delivered with his first career walk-off home run, featuring a particularly memorable headbutt of manager Terry Francona.
Following this upcoming weekend’s series against the New York Yankees, the Guardians will have wrapped up a particularly brutal stretch of games against high-quality opponents, including the Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, and Red Sox. Cleveland went 7-2 in its West Coast road trip, and despite being swept by Boston at home last weekend and enduring a five-game losing streak, the Guardians are still 9-7 in this tough stretch. If they can emerge after the weekend at .500 in these 20 games, that’s not too shabby at all.
Then, with the trade deadline approaching and the Guardians in the thick of the AL Central race, the real fun begins.