Bieber’s only blemish came from a Jose Siri solo shot. The Guardians ace was removed from the eighth inning before he could face Siri for a third time in a wise managerial choice by Terry Francona.
With the victory, the AL Central champions are one win away from a date with the New York Yankees in the Bronx. But before we jump too far ahead, here’s what happened on Friday afternoon.
The Cleveland Guardians won Game 1 of their Wild Card series over the Tampa Bay Rays. Here’s everything you need to know:
An eight-plus inning start from Shane Bieber led the way, along with a two-run home run thanks to Jose Ramirez.
That’s how many sliders and/or cutters Bieber threw on Friday against Tampa Bay, who could not lay off of the breaking pitch for the life of them.
Of those 39 pitches, 21 were swung at, with 13 whiffs overall. That was good for a 46 percent CSW. For those unfamiliar, CSW is a formula that takes a pitcher’s called strikes, swings and misses, and total pitches thrown to calculate the percentage of pitches that resulted in a called or swinging strike.
McClanahan left a changeup slightly too high for Guardians slugger Jose Ramirez. One of the best hitters in all of baseball, Ramirez hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning which eventually served as the winning run for Cleveland.
That’s how many home runs Rays ace Shane McClanahan has allowed on changeups this season. McClanahan is an American League Cy Young candidate for a reason, and his changeup is one of his better breaking balls for a reason. It’s perhaps only second to his curveball.
That’s how many losses the Cleveland baseball team has suffered since they changed their name to the Guardians. Sure, this is more of a joking matter, but any fans concerned about a lack of culture or enthusiasm in the stadium have been proven wrong thus far.
Whether it’s the Guardians or the Cleveland Baseball Team (I kid), this group is the youngest squad in all of MLB. Safe to say they have a bright future.