Connect with us


Guardians Did Not Bow Their Heads in ALDS Loss

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports

Bronx, NY – The Guardians visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium early Tuesday evening did not see players with their heads bowed after losing a decisive Game 5 to the Yankees in the ALDS. Instead, they accepted defeat and looked at a season of accomplishments.

A team that was not expected to be in the postseason, no they fooled the experts and managed a September stretch that awarded them a AL Central Division title, a team with the youngest roster in baseball.

That was an accomplishment as they packed their bags and headed home for the Winter, realizing also this is the beginning of more to come. Again, though, even as they surprised and overtook the White Sox and Twins, it’s always bitter to say goodbye until next year.

For now, though, the Yankees were a better team, taking the AL East Division winners to the limit in a series that had two rain postponements. A series that had the Yankees outhitting the young Guardians 44-28.

“It’s tough right now,” Andrés Giménez (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) said through a translator. “The reality is, for now there is no reason to say put my head down.”

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

For sure, no reason for Giménez or his team to bow their heads. Giménez became an AL All-Star, with Amed Rosario (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). They came together and formed a formidable double play unit for the Guardians infield.

However, losing a postseason series, despite going beyond expectations, seeing your season come to an end, well that will last for the next four months. Though as a unit, the Guardians expect most of their roster to return and their front office knows what their needs are in order to go that extra step and become one of those last four teams standing in October.

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

They grew up and had expectations after they embarked on their fifth postseason in the last seven seasons under manager Terry Francona.

“I know they are hurting now,” Francona said. “Because they care and they worked unbelievable hard. But I hope as that wears off, they will realize just how proud we are of them and how much we care about them.”

And they worked hard to force a Game 5 in the Bronx. Cleveland trailed 5-3 entering the 9th inning of Game 3 on Saturday and rallied for a 6-5 win, epitomizing more of how this young team could shock the baseball world.

This was different than the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies involved now in their best-4-of-7 NLCS, two teams out of the wild card and vying to reach the World Series.

These are the Guardians, young and once they got to the postseason saying they would be one of the last teams standing.

“Our plan was to shock the world and win the whole thing,” said catcher Austin Hedges. He was one of the veterans of a team that made contact at the plate and took that extra base.

Perhaps, their failure to not hit the home run ball, next to last in baseball, was too difficult for 17 rookies on the roster. Again, Tuesday in the Bronx, they could not clear the fences as the Yankees who once again got that home run production from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, both hitting two home runs in the five game series.

They got on base but not enough as Yankees starter “Nasty” Nestor Cortes and their bullpen would not be denied from reaching another ALCS and seek redemption against the Houston Astros.

“This needs to be a starting place for us,” Francona said. “This can’t just be a good story this year. We need to take this and go, because i think we have a chance to have something really special.”

In other words, the Guardians went home with that good feeling and something to reflect on before they assemble again in February. They learned how to chip away and play small ball which was also a welcome relief for a game that has gone in a different direction. They became a baseball story in 2022.

They went beyond expectations and had no reasons to bow their heads. This did not resemble a losing clubhouse after overcoming the obstacles as a division winner and opposing a Yankees team that had expectations of playing deep into October.

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

This final game José Ramírez drove in their lone run. Rosario reached base twice and in all five games of the series. They have not won a championship since 1948 and their payroll of $68 million is in that low tier compared to the bank of other teams and the $274 million Yankees.

But the Guardians had a 2-1 lead in the series, another accomplishment that can’t be overlooked. They fell short this time and don’t believe they will next year or in the years to come.

“They beat us today,” Francona said. “We pushed them about as far as we could and they came out and beat us today so they get to move on and we don’t.”

These are the Guardians and every reason why they did not bow their heads.

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer Twitter@Ring786 Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest Article

More in Baseball