Disastrous week puts Guardians in bad spot

Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

There was one thing that the Cleveland Guardians could not afford to do this past week, stumble. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. Cleveland faced a fading Reds team and a playing above their head, but still bad, Tigers team. The result? A 2-4 record on the week and their deficit in the American League Central division increased to six games. This puts the Guardians' season on life-support if they were not considered dead already.

The Guardians were outscored 20-15 over their last six games. This is not a large margin. The aggregate run-differential comes from just one game, a 7-2 loss to the Reds Wednesday. Removing that game from the equation, it is an even amount of runs scored and runs allowed by the Guardians.

Not helping matters was Cleveland's continued lack of home run power. The Guardians were out-homered 8-2 over six games, going homerless in four of those contests. This is not necessarily a surprise considering this team is dead-last in home runs this season. With just 89 home runs, Cleveland is the only team with less than 100 and trails the next-lowest team (Washington) by 24. This was not a team expected to be at or near the top in this area, but trailing MLB's leading team, Atlanta, by 146 round-trippers is far from acceptable.

It appears that this last week is just the beginning of the Guardians' fading away from the American League Central division-leading Minnesota Twins. Being presented with an opportunity to at least cut half of a game off the Twins' lead and not capitalizing on that is truly emblematic of how this season has gone for Cleveland. Dropping three of four to Detroit appears to be one of, if not the final nail in the Guardians' competitive chances this season.

This Guardians team was not expected to win the World Series at any point this season. But, they were expected to perform better than this. The 2023 season has been filled with underwhelming play from a team that has looked flat for the majority of it. Finding a way to inject some much-needed life into this roster must be priority number one this offseason. Running it back without making at least one major addition (via free agency or trade) would be simply unacceptable.