What at one pioint seemed like a no doubt victory went down to the wire Sunday night as the Cleveland Guardians needed extra-innings to get past the Chicago Cubs.
At one point the Guardians held a six-run lead and it appeared that this game would go in a very simillar direction to Saturday's 6-0 final score. The Cubs had other ideas. Chicago chipped away with a couple of runs during the middle innings before they managed to erase a four-run 9th inning deficit to tie the game and force extras.
Not all hope was lost for the Guardians as Josh Naylor was able to deliver with a two-run double in the 10th and Cleveland was able to hang on to win the game and the series in Chicago.
Even though they managed to come out victorious against the Cubs, there does seem to be a less than ideal situation happening in their bullpen. Emmanuel Clase has not been sharp in his last two outings. Six runs (five earned) have come across to score on six hits in 1.1 innings for the Guardians closer.
Maybe this is just a blip due to the season nearing the midway point and All-Star break. But maybe it is not. This was Clase's sixth blown save this season which is the most in all of baseball. One thing that is for sure is that the Guardians need Clase to be better moving forward should they find their way to the postseason.
With the win Cleveland (41-42) is now tied with the Minnesota Twins (42-43) atop the American League Central division. A crucial three game set against a Braves team that just swept the Twins awaits the Guardians. However the next four games are against a not terribly impressive Kansas City Royals ballclub to set up a potential strong finish to the first half of the season.