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Friday, September 23, 2022

How the Guardians turned the AL Central race into a one-team sprint

“We made some deliberate choices, even going back to the offseason, to give some of these young players opportunities to go out and contribute,” president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. “To their credit, a lot of them have stepped forward and made a meaningful impact.”

But as Francona says, no one has a ‘crystal ball’ and it came together faster than anyone could have expected. Except maybe the Guardians’ star player himself.

“Those guys are very talented,” Ramirez said through the team interpreter. “They won a lot in the minors so they know how to win. I’m not surprised by their performance this year.”...

“Everyone is saying we’re not supposed to be doing this,” starter Shane Bieber said. “And maybe that was the story coming in early. But not now. It’s a different brand of baseball, and we’re enjoying playing it, and we’re doing it really well.”

Bieber smiled and nodded his head when Ramirez’s name came up. Clubhouse conversations often lead back to the five-tool player.

“What I find so special and invaluable about him is the way he plays the game,” Bieber said. “It’s hard to put into words. For our superstar to play the way he does, with that infectious energy, and putting his body on the line and doing it every day, with the intent to win, he really sets the tone.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2022 at 02:24 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2022 at 03:24 PM (#6097657)
I'm not sure if I underestimate the Guardians or overestimate the other decent taams in the ALC year after year, but one of these years I will be right! I definitely missed the memo that Andres Gimenez was a 6-WAR player.

Wow -- only 77 innings thrown by a pitcher 30 or older; average pitcher age of 26.3. Only 209 PA from a player 30 or older and those are both backup Cs. Average hitter age of 26.

True, only 6 guys can hit, they really could have used a deadline bat but no reason they can't keep this up for the next couple of years.
   2. Cris E Posted: September 23, 2022 at 04:28 PM (#6097665)
I think the health of the pitching staff has been a big deal. The top three starters all made 28 or 29 starts and Plesac was good all the way until early Sept. Contrast that with the Twins who currently have starters Grey, Paddock, Mahle, Archer on the DL and just got back Ober and Winder this week. The top IP in MN is only Ryan's 137 innings, and Bundy started 27 games but only threw 131 innings. Just as the Yankees are having a year for the ages that drew a lot on great health (at least in the first half), the Guardians are starting their best and not giving away a lot of starts to youngsters or waiver wire trash. Paired with a good bullpen that's not being pushed extra hard by short starts it makes it possible to win with some soft spots in the batting order. It did take them a while to find themselves, and they were helped by a complete collapse by the Twins, but this month they're the best team in the Central.
   3. John Reynard Posted: September 24, 2022 at 12:23 AM (#6097729)
Executive summary:

White Sox weren't that good.

Buxton got hurt and Twins promptly fell apart.

Jose Ramirez stayed healthy and may have rubbed his "6 WAR small guy" energy on the Indians seem to have won out.
   4. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 24, 2022 at 08:19 AM (#6097737)
The Guardians deserved to win the Central. This year they are the tallest and strongest sixth grader. My Twins .... ugh.
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 24, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6097758)
True, only 6 guys (on the Guardians) can hit

That's about seven or eight more than my Tigers...
   6. Moeball Posted: September 24, 2022 at 06:53 PM (#6097833)
They didn't suck. That's all it takes to win the AL Central. You don't have to actually be good, just don't suck. Mediocrity at its finest!
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: September 25, 2022 at 12:11 AM (#6097868)
if the Guardians end Cleveland's 74-year drought since its last World Series title, imagine how many new team nicknames we'll have next year!

New York Bronx Bombers
New York Gothams
Seattle Needlemen
   8. Lassus Posted: September 25, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6097878)
Something something Faust something.
   9. John Reynard Posted: September 26, 2022 at 05:36 AM (#6097927)
Something something Faust something.

Signing Jose Ramirez to a long-term deal is Faustian?
   10. Rally Posted: September 26, 2022 at 09:20 AM (#6097936)
They are 13-15 against AL East teams, with 3 left to play (Rays).

But mostly that’s bad play against the Red Sox and Yankees. Against the two East teams they might play in the first round, they are 7-3.

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