Cleveland Guardians advance to ALDS after marathon 1-0 victory over Rays

Kevin Devine
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 08: Oscar Gonzalez #39 of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run to end the game in the fifteenth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of the Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on October 08, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 08: Oscar Gonzalez #39 of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run to end the game in the fifteenth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of the Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on October 08, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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When Guardians rookie Oscar Gonzalez hit a blast into the right-field seats off of one of the most accomplished pitchers in Cleveland baseball history, he put to an end the longest scoreless game in MLB postseason history and completed the first sweep in wild-card series history.

His first few slow steps, followed by a subdued clap and skip before high-fiving first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. reflected the fatigue the players experienced from playing for over five hours before the first run was scored. His celebration picked up as he rounded the bases and the Guardians celebrated outside the third-base dugout, but the players’ feelings were articulated well when winning pitcher Sam Hentges said in his postgame interview, “That was a long game.”

The blast sent the 34,000+ Guardians fans that filled Progressive Field on Saturday afternoon into a frenzy, sent the Tampa Bay Rays home for the offseason, and sent the Cleveland Guardians on to face the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series. While the scoring waited over five hours to commence, this game had plenty of excitement.

Let’s take a look at some of the keys to one of the best-pitched playoff games in history.

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