Dominant Pitching, Defense and Stringing Hits Together Won Game 2
The Guardians have struggled to string hits together this postseason. Maybe it is the higher level of pitching. Maybe it is the pressure of the postseason getting to the youngest team in the majors. Whatever the reason, they finally played their brand of baseball on Friday, and it worked when they needed it to the most. They scratched out seven hits and added five walks. Unlike in each of the prior games this postseason, they manufactured runs by stringing hits together and keeping pressure on the Yankees’ defense.
Cleveland has struggled all season against left-handed pitching, and on Friday they faced one of the best in the game in Nestor Cortes. In a high-pressure situation, in one of the toughest stadiums for visiting teams to play in, they kept the ball in play, and generated nine baserunners before chasing Cortes after five innings.
Beyond the offense, this was a classic 2022 Guardians game. Bieber pitched well before the bullpen dominated, including Trevor Stephan striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh, and Clase bailing them out of a jam to end the eighth before throwing two more full innings to get the win. And let’s not forget Cleveland’s defense, which played a nearly perfect game.
The Guardians have to be encouraged as they now head home, where they have played much better than on the road all season.