There is something about rain delays that just seem to happen when the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago Cubs face off. While the magnitude of this game did not carry the same weight as the more famous one, Cleveland was able to come out on top after a two-hour delay to begin the game. Once the game actually got going it was all Guardians. It was a solid effort all around as they managed to even up the series and force a rubbermatch on Sunday.
Tanner Bibee came through with a strong performance on the mound, allowing three hits in 5.2 innings while stirking out nine Cubs. There is just something about Bibee when he is locked in that makes it difficult for oppoosing batters to do much of anything and that was the version of Bibee the Guardians got late Saturday night.
It was solid performance at the plate for the Guardians as they rattled off eight hits en route to scoring six runs. Cleveland roughed up Marcus Stroman for five runs on five hits an two walks before he made his exit in the 6th. Ideally the Guardians could have had more than one extra-base hit in the contest, but the seven singles and one double did just fine and was more than enough to give Cleveland an insurmountable lead.
A very encouraging sign for the Guardians offense was how well they hit with runners in scoring positiion. As a team they were 4-9 and only left five runners on base in the contest. In comparison, Chicago was 0-6 and left seven runners on base. It is these type of clutch hits which can often mean the difference between a win or loss on any givven day.
The good news here is that the Guardians pulled back to within two games of .500. The bad news is that the Minnesota Twins also won Saturday and maintain their one game lead in the American League Central division. All it takes is just one day of positive results and the Guardians can retake their rightful place atop the division.