Extra Innings Again Final Score 6-4 in 10 Innings: Guardians vs. A’s Recap 4/5

April 6, 2023

Todd Hall

Not every game is picture-perfect, as evidenced by the Guardians’ 6-4 extra-inning win today. Despite the victory, those who watched live will recall the terror of Jesús Aguilar’s final swing. For a moment, it appeared he had hit another home run. Fortunately, Oscar Gonzalez caught the ball, and Emmanuel Clase pitched the 10th inning unscathed, securing another series win for the Guardians. With a 5-2 record, they’ll take a day off before facing the Mariners on Friday.

To get to this point, Hunter Gaddis needed to step up and eat some innings, which he did by throwing his fastball at 95.6 mph in the first inning. It’s been suggested that his release point may have tipped his changeup last season, but that issue seemed to be resolved in this game. During his six innings of work, he threw 77 pitches, and the average exit velocity on all of them was just 78.6 mph, with no balls hit harder than 100 mph. While not a strikeout machine, Gaddis demonstrated the ability to limit hard contact in this game. His changeup was used 10 times and only induced two swings and misses and one called strike, but the A’s were unable to do any damage off of it, with three weak outs and a couple of fouls. Additionally, his curveball limited hard contact and induced two swinging strikes. Gaddis retired nine straight batters at one point, and despite being on his first good game, earned the trust of his manager to face the top of the order a third time. With just 77 pitches under his belt, he could have stayed in for the seventh, but his manager’s decision to go to the bullpen was understandable, given past experiences where such a move backfired. Sandlin pitched a clean seventh before Herrin replaced him in the eighth, ultimately allowing a tying home run to Aguilar. While it may not have been the best time for Herrin, the decision to give him an opportunity was reasonable. In the end, Straw made a spectacular play to keep the game tied and give the team a chance to win in extra innings.

Following Aguilar’s game-tying homer, the next at-bat could have been devastating, but instead, Straw made a highlight reel catch that will likely earn him another Gold Glove in the offseason. Straw was also impressive at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a walk and providing an additional lead-off man at the bottom of the order. Kwan, the Guardians’ actual lead-off man, had another two-hit game, including one hit that gave the team an insurance run in the 10th inning. Although he made a bone-headed stolen base attempt with José Ramírez at the plate, it can be overlooked.

The team is now prepared to play their home opener at Progressive Field on Friday.

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