After a disappointing Game 1 in Seattle which saw some bullpen struggles, the Cleveland Guardians were able to right the ship and take three straight against the Mariners.
Things could have gone very different for Cleveland considering how Game 1 ended in addition to some last minute pitching rotation changes which saw Hunter Gaddis sliding into Triston McKenzie's number two spot due to injury. The fact that Cleveland was able to gather themselves and put adversity behind them speaks volumes. It could have become a sky is falling type situation for the Guardians, but this is a resilient squad which was not going to let that happen.
After being limited to just four hits in a 3-0 loss Thursday, Cleveland rallied with a 13-hits in a decisivie 9-4 win. Cleveland would follow the next day with a 2-0 win powered by solo homers from Josh Naylor and Andres Gimenez. Only eight hits total in the game, but it was the long balls from the Guardians that made the difference in this brief two-hour and four minute affair.
The Guardians embraced thier Guardiac Kids moniker from the jump
Drama was the theme of Game 4. Trading runs back and forth over the first seven innings of the contest. Trading runs back and forth like body blows in a heavyweight fight or maybe three-pointers in crunch time of a NBA playoff game may be more appropriate considering the three-spots put up by each team. The Mariners did everything they could to force a split, but it was the Guardians rallying together to come away with a 6-5 victory in extras and earning a series win.
When the regular season is over there may not be a big difference between splitting the series or winning three games to one. Before the series began most would have taken a split. After Game 1 it was steal a game and move on to the next series. Cleveland winning the series against a team many expect to be playing October baseball is impressive.
The Guardians road trip to begin the year continues Monday in Oakland before finally playing at home for the first time. Cleveland will have their hands full as the Mariners are looking to return the favor and play spoiler to the Guardians next weekend. Hopefully that Guardiac Kids magic they have channeled early does not wear off by then.