Game Recap 5/26/23 | Guardians Win 4-3 vs Cardinals

May 26, 2023

Andy Billman

Observations from the Game

3 things Guardians 4-3 victory over the Cardinals:

1 – Super Rosario! 

The 5th inning was the magic inning for our Guardians as they got the bases loaded with nobody out, and Steve Kwan got a single to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. The next batter was Amed Rosario, andhecame through with the big bases-clearing double to put the Guards ahead 4-0. Credit Cleveland for maximizing their offense in one inning tonight. 

2 – Defense comes up big 

Multiple big defensive plays in the game, one by Josh Naylor in the top of the 6th with two Cardinals on, and Naylor makes a diving play to stop Nolan Gorman from having a double and keeping the game scoreless.  Another was by Steven Kwan with a leaping catch against the wall in the 8th, and finally, Mike Zunino had another nice night behind the plate, throwing out a baserunner in the top of the 3rd inning. 

3 – Bullpen ups and downs 

There were some ups and downs with the bullpen tonight. The ups are Enyel De Los Santos, as he was wonderful getting the Guards out of a jam in the top of the 8th with a double play ball to end the inning.  The downs are Trevor Stephan, who had a hard time getting ahead of hitters but did not give up a run, and Emmanuel Clase also struggled to get three outs, giving up a run but did get the save.  The good on Clase is his velocity was up tonight, which is a good sign that he might be snapping out of this slump. 

Game Summary

In Friday night’s matchup, the Cleveland Guardians managed to secure a narrow 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, with several key contributors making their presence felt. Despite not being at his absolute best, starting pitcher Shane Bieber showcased his resilience by working into the seventh inning. The Guardians’ offensive surge came in the form of Amed Rosario’s clutch three-run double, while closer Emmanuel Clase once again navigated a tense ninth inning to preserve the win.

Bieber, although not in peak form, effectively contained the Cardinals, surrendering only two sacrifice flies until a couple of two-out walks posed a threat in the seventh inning. It was in the fifth inning that Rosario delivered the decisive blow with his bases-clearing double off the Cardinals’ rookie pitcher, Matthew Liberatore, who was tagged with the loss. This rare explosive inning provided a much-needed boost for the struggling AL Central champions, as they have struggled against left-handed starting pitchers this season, improving their record to 7-12 in such matchups.

In his 6 2/3 innings of work, Bieber allowed two runs and five hits before being relieved. Notably, he boasts an impressive career record of 9-1 when facing NL Central teams. Trevor Stephan took over for Bieber in the seventh and faced a challenging situation with the bases loaded, but he showed composure and induced a foul out from designated hitter Nolan Gorman, extinguishing the threat and preserving Cleveland’s slim two-run lead. Enyel De Los Santos came in during the eighth inning and expertly cleaned up the mess left behind by Stephan, securing a crucial double play.

The Guardians then turned to their hard-throwing closer, Clase, who has experienced some struggles this season. Clase surrendered an RBI double to Lars Nootbaar with one out in the ninth inning, raising the tension. However, he quickly regrouped and struck out Paul Goldschmidt, followed by a called third strike on Gorman, earning his MLB-leading 17th save in 22 opportunities.

The Cardinals’ runs came courtesy of sacrifice flies from Nolan Arenado and Alec Burleson. They have been performing well, with a record of 13-6 since May 7.

St. Louis starter Matthew Liberatore, making only his second start of the year, initially stymied the Guardians’ offense, which has struggled in various offensive categories. The Guardians managed just an infield single by Mike Zunino in the third inning against Liberatore. However, the left-hander’s control faltered in the fifth inning when he hit Andrés Giménez with a pitch to lead off the inning. Subsequently, Zunino and Myles Straw hit singles to load the bases, setting the stage for Steven Kwan’s RBI single, which gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Rosario then stepped up and crushed a double into the left-field corner, providing the Guardians with some much-needed breathing room.

Up Next

Saturday 5/27 – Game 2 vs St. Louis Cardinals at 7:15 PM EST.

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