To say that the Cleveland Guardians did not enjoy their trip to Houston would be an understatement. Not only were they swept in their three-game series with the Astros, they were outscored 12-5. Oh, and there is one more thing. They were no-hit by Framber Valdez in the second game of the series. This was the fourth or fifth time they have been no-hit since 2021, depending on whether or not you choose to count the seven-inning game that MLB considers a "notable achievement". Pretty embarrassing for a franchise that has not had a no-hitter or perfect game since Len Barker's in 1981.
Even though the only addition to the current major league roster by the Guardians was the acquisition of Noah Syndergaard, the team is just two games behind the American League Central leading Minnesota Twins entering play Thursday. This will change at day's end as the Guardians are idle and the Twins are wrapping up their three-game series in St. Louis. Whether they trail by 1.5 or 2.5 games entering Friday, they need to put this past week behind them as they are not truly out of the postseason picture as of yet.
While the approach taken by the front office at the trade deadline was incredibly underwhelming and it may have led to an issue in the clubhouse, they must do everything they can to put that behind them and focus on the task at hand. Winning ballgames.
It is going to be a tough road for the Guardians as their remaining strength of schedule is remarkably difficult. Cleveland is slated to face a combined winning percentage of .518 the rest of the way, the sixth-highest in MLB. Conversely, Minnesota's .482 is the fourth-lowest at the current moment. It is clear the odds are stacked against them when taking this into consideration and that may have been a contributing factor as to why the front office took the approach they did.
Waving the white flag is not an acceptable course of action and should not be the way the rest of this season is approached by the ballclub, as much as it seems like that is what the team is actively doing. Even with the uphill battle and the overall unlikelihood that they make the playoffs, that is still an outcome that is on the table.
As long as the Guardians still have a realistic statistical chance, not the must-win out while Minnesota loses out type, they must continue to approach the remaining two months of the season with the intent of competing for postseason play. Even if they were to win the division and immediate be bounced from the playoffs, that is a much better outcome than not being there at all.