Guardians vs. Yankees ALDS Thread

KiltedFool

has a terminal case of creeping sharia
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Dec 22, 2005
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Someone mentioned upthread Naylor looked like hell at the plate. Turns out he’s a little gimpy, he was visibly hobbling in game 2 and woke up sore . He was moved from 1B to DH to avoid a lot of the lateral movement playing defense. Owen Miller usually covers 1B in his place but they put Arias there, natural shortstop with only a handful of starts there in the minors and 1 in mlb. Arias had a great game, it paid off. So many of the KinderGuardians are not just rookies but freshly promoted rookies, like Arias and Benson, who had a key PH appearance.
 

LogansDad

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Nov 15, 2006
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Someone mentioned upthread Naylor looked like hell at the plate. Turns out he’s a little gimpy, he was visibly hobbling in game 2 and woke up sore . He was moved from 1B to DH to avoid a lot of the lateral movement playing defense. Owen Miller usually covers 1B in his place but they put Arias there, natural shortstop with only a handful of starts there in the minors and 1 in mlb. Arias had a great game, it paid off. So many of the KinderGuardians are not just rookies but freshly promoted rookies, like Arias and Benson, who had a key PH appearance.
I'm not convinced Naylor is fully healed from his 2021 leg injury. It was really, really bad. He's had flashes this year, but no consistency at all.

Tito is such a good manager though, this is just another one of his teams that is really playing like more than the sum of its parts. And they are a lot of fun to watch.
 

InsideTheParker

persists in error
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Gosh. This was a surprising wonderful win by Cleveland, but folks are typing as though the series were over. Let's hope you're right.
Whatever happens, the unusual decision making by Boone et al rivals Servais' (and the Rays algorithmic giants' decision re Blake Snell). Let's hope it comes back to bite them as those managerial decisions did their managers. It was interesting watching both the Guardians and the NYY pitchers. None seemed to compare with either the Seattle or Houston pitching corps. Watching that game showed me how truly terrible the Red Sox pitching was this year.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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Gosh. This was a surprising wonderful win by Cleveland, but folks are typing as though the series were over. Let's hope you're right.
Whatever happens, the unusual decision making by Boone et al rivals Servais' (and the Rays algorithmic giants' decision re Blake Snell). Let's hope it comes back to bite them as those managerial decisions did their managers. It was interesting watching both the Guardians and the NYY pitchers. None seemed to compare with either the Seattle or Houston pitching corps. Watching that game showed me how truly terrible the Red Sox pitching was this year.
Yup. Cole vs. Quantrill and then they go home. Yankees still winning this.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Oscar Gonzalez was signed out of the Dominican at 16 and struggled in his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League (.587 OPS in 70 games). He's had success at every level since then, but at 6'4", 240 lbs., his power output was seen as disappointing early in his career (33 HR in 335 games from age 18-21). His insistence on swinging at everything and anything he could, also didn't help his outlook (60 BB in 405 professional games). However, he batted .280+ and even after missing a year of action in 2020 (as nearly all low level minor leaguers did), Gonzalez had earned a spot in the AA starting lineup in 2021 at age 23, but he wasn't on any prospector's radar.

On opening night for Akron (AA) in 2021, Oscar struck out in each of his first three at-bats, but in his fourth trip to the plate he hit a walk-off 3-run homer. He hit two more home runs that first week and quickly became the star of the RubberDucks. Since I go to at least a half-dozen Akron games every summer (it used to be 10-15 when I lived closer) and check their box scores on a daily basis, I get attached to the kids who come through there like Gonzalez and Triston McKenzie. By mid-season, Gonzalez was hitting .330/.367/.601 and was promoted to AAA. He still was swinging early and often, but the power had arrived. At Columbus (AAA), his average dipped to .269, but he hit another 18 home runs.

Because he was signed at 16, hadn't leapfrogged any levels, and still wasn't placed on the 40-man roster, Gonzalez reached minor league free agency coming off his breakout season. He was a 23-year-old AAA player coming off a 31 HR season. He immediately resigned with the Guardians. However, since he still wasn't rostered, he was eligible for the Rule 5 draft. There was a lot of speculation that he could be the next Akil Baddoo, but Cleveland placed higher priority on the 20-year-olds in Single-A they needed to protect, like Jhonkensy Noel and Jose Tena. As it turned out, the lockout may have saved Oscar's career in Cleveland.

Gonzalez still wasn't considered a serious prospect… or any sort of prospect. MLB didn't list him among their top 30 Cleveland prospects. Fangraphs didn't even throw him an honorable mention in their top 48 prospects for the Guardians. Everyone said that a free swinger like Oscar would be eaten alive at the major league level. He also was considered a poor outfielder despite a strong arm. Oscar didn't care, he just kept swinging. His numbers were actually down just a bit at Columbus in 2022 (.270/.302/.482), but with two slap-hitters in the outfield in Myles Straw and Steven Kwan, once Oscar Mercado flamed out for the umpteenth time, the Guardians needed to find some pop somewhere.

Even I have to admit that I was expecting early struggles. Instead, Gonzalez had a 2-hit night in 5 of his first 7 games. He went hitless just once in his first 15 games. He had yet to hit a ball over the fence, but he didn't panic, he just became a doubles machine (9 in those first 15) and the home runs eventually came (11 in 91 games). He spent a short stint on the IL for an oblique strain and the league adjusted to him, but he adjusted back and hit .312/.351/.489 in September.

What's been overlooked is that for a big guy who swings a lot, he can really put the bat on the ball (19.6% K rate). Considering Cleveland's willingness to leave him unprotected last fall, I'm not sure if it's something the organization prioritizes or if it's just a happy coincidence, but even the guys in the middle of the order – Ramirez, Naylor, Gonzalez – make more contact than we're used to seeing out of sluggers (or anyone) these days. Oscar also has a lot of athleticism within that large frame. He can be a little awkward in right field at times and is never going to win a Gold Glove, but he hasn't been the butcher out there that was predicted. He ranks 60th in baseball in sprint speed and he threw out 3 base-runners in half a season. Now he just needs to keep making that sweet jump shot as he rounds the bases.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Jul 21, 2005
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A few hours for Cleveland fans to drink away their sorrows from the Browns and pregame for the Guardians. Hope it’s a very hostile environment at the Jake tonight for the MFY.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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One of my best friends will be at the game tonight (the two of us will be trying for ALCS tickets if they make it there). Fortunately, neither one of us give a fuck about that other team in Cleveland. There's only one game in town today that matters.
 

Murderer's Crow

Dragon Wangler 216
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I think the honest truth is that it was an absolutely huge fucking blunder. No killer instinct with this management and its clear that Boone wanted Holmes for Game 4 to "win the series" instead of not having him available for throwing him 2 in a row. But if that is your logic and you think you can win a game with Schmidt as your closer, then fucking use him tomorrow!

I'm very much ready to move on from Boone. More ready than last year and the year before that.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
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Dec 30, 2003
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Guardians should be down 3-2 and Ramirez on 2nd.

Instead the inning ends. Bloops have been dropping for days and the team just decides to take a play off.