Game Recap 7/19/23 | Guardians Lose to Pirates 7-5

July 19, 2023

Andy Billman

Observations from the Game

3 things About Guardians Loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates

1 – Bullpen Meltdown 

It is sadly becoming a growing theme late in games, the Guardians bullpen had another blown save, 20th on the season.

Sam Hentges was the main culprit on Wednesday afternoon. Hentges was called into the game at the bottom of the 7th, Guardians up 4-2 with a runner on 1st after a walk by Nick Sandlin.  Hentges gave up a soft single, and an infield single to the first two batters to load the bases.  

Bryan Reynolds was up for Pittsburgh and hit into a Tailor-made double-play ball that at first was turned, but the Pirates challenged that Reynolds was safe at first.  It was overturned (very close call, bang-bang play at first) allowing the inning to continue with the runner scoring from 3rd to make it 4-3. 

After a walk to former Cleveland teammate Carlos Santana, reloading the bases, Ji Man Choi hit the game-winning single, scoring two runs and putting the Pirates up for good.

Enyel De Los Santos relieved Hentges and promptly walked the next batter to load the bases again, and then gave up a 2-run single to end all doubt. 

On the day, the Cleveland bullpen pitched 2 2/3 innings giving up four hits for five earned runs.  WHOA!

2 – Civale 

Guardians starter Aaron Civale was cruising through the first four innings only giving up one hit, but Civale labored through the 5th inning giving up three hits for two runs with multiple balls hit hard by Pirates.  Civale went 5 1/3 innings giving up five hits for two earned runs with three strikeouts. 

3 – Ring My Bell 

Josh Bell had a big day against his old club going three for four with a solo home run in the 8th.  

Game Summary

Led by Ji Man Choi and Jared Triolo, the Pittsburgh Pirates orchestrated an impressive comeback in the seventh inning, overcoming a four-run deficit to defeat the Cleveland Guardians 7-5 on Wednesday, finally breaking their five-game losing streak.

Down 4-0 by the fifth inning, the Pirates showed signs of life with Nick Gonzales’ run-scoring single and Jake Suwinski’s RBI double against Aaron Civale.

In the crucial seventh inning, Gonzales drew a walk against Nick Sandlin with one out. Then, Endy Rodríguez and Connor Joe followed up with singles, loading the bases. Rodríguez’s bloop marked his first major league hit after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday.

The tension rose as Bryan Reynolds hit into a potential double play, but an overturned call after a video review allowed Gonzales to score, giving the Pirates a glimmer of hope.

Carlos Santana’s walk set the stage for Ji Man Choi, who delivered a sharp liner into right field, securing a 5-4 lead for Pittsburgh. Enyel De Los Santos then walked Henry Davis, and Triolo came through with a crucial two-run single to left, further boosting their advantage.

In the eighth inning, Josh Bell added to the Pirates’ lead with a home run off Ryan Borucki (1-0). David Bednar closed out the game in the ninth inning, striking out one batter and securing his 18th save in 19 chances.

Prior to this win, the Pirates had a tough time, getting outscored 21-1 in the first two games of the series.

Starting pitcher Rich Hill endured a mixed performance, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, resulting in his fourth consecutive start without a win.

Civale, on the other hand, gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Guardians had their moments, with Andrés Giménez driving in a run with a well-executed squeeze bunt in the fourth inning, and Amed Rosario adding a crucial two-run double in the fifth, taking advantage of Suwinski’s missed catch attempt in center field. Bell followed up with an RBI single to further increase their lead.

Up Next

Friday 7/21 7:10 PM EST – Game 1 of 3 Game Series vs Philadelphia Phillies

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