Game Recap 9/27/23 | Guardians Beat the Reds 4-3

September 27, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Things Around The Game

1 – Forever Francona!

In his last home game as skipper, Manager Terry Francona leaves a winner!

2 – Bieber 

In what could be Shane Bieber’s last game in Cleveland, if he is traded this coming offseason, also left a winner going six strong while only giving up one run. 

3 – Attendance 

The Guardian’s attendance was up from last year, way up at 41.5% compared to 2022. 

Game Summary

Shane Bieber delivered a commanding performance against Cincinnati, blanking them for six innings. In his final home game, Cleveland Guardians bid farewell to their manager, Terry Francona, with a 4-3 victory over the Reds, whose playoff aspirations were hanging by a thread.

Bieber, with a record of 6-6, held the Reds to just one run and five hits in only his second start since July 15, and it might possibly be his last appearance for Cleveland. The right-handed pitcher had been sidelined for over two months due to elbow inflammation, one of several key injuries that contributed to the Guardians’ inability to defend their AL Central title.

The Reds also faced the risk of missing the postseason, falling two games behind Chicago in the NL wild-card race with only three games remaining.

Cleveland got things rolling in the second inning with five consecutive hits off Reds starter Andrew Abbott (8-6), who didn’t make it out of the third inning. Tyler Freeman and rookie Brayan Rocchio both contributed with RBI singles during Cleveland’s offensive surge in the second.

Despite trailing 4-1, the Reds staged a late rally in the eighth inning against reliever Trevor Stephan. Pinch-hitter Nick Martini and Jonathan India hit back-to-back doubles, and Spencer Steer’s RBI groundout brought Cincinnati within one run.

Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase, who boasts an MLB-best 43 saves, took the mound in the ninth. He received a significant assist from right fielder Ramón Laureano, who gunned down Noelvi Marte attempting to stretch a single into a double.

Before the game, Francona was honored with a heartfelt video tribute that chronicled his lengthy tenure in Cleveland. His connection to the team dates back to his childhood, as his father, Tito, played as an outfielder with the Indians for six seasons.

Francona, now 64, has faced significant health challenges in recent years and made the decision to step down after a challenging two-month stretch earlier in the season. He holds the record for the most wins by a manager in Cleveland’s history, ranks 13th on the all-time list, and is virtually guaranteed a place in the Hall of Fame with his two World Series titles in Boston, as well as his memorable run with the Guardians in 2016 that came up just short.

As the final out was recorded, Francona was serenaded by chants of “Tito! Tito!” from the crowd, with many fans donning “Thank You Tito” T-shirts.

Cincinnati desperately needed a win, but Shane Bieber had other plans. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner was in top form, resembling the staff ace he has been for years in Cleveland and potentially elsewhere in the future. He issued no walks and struck out seven batters in one of his most efficient starts this season.

The Guardians were likely considering trading him before the deadline if Bieber hadn’t been sidelined, and Cleveland’s front office may pursue a deal this winter before he enters his final arbitration-eligible season.

Trainers Room

Gabriel Arias will miss the final four games with a small, non-displaced fracture in his right hand. Arias showed signs of being a productive hitter – there are no concerns about his defense – in the final month. Francona said the break was small, and if it was earlier in the season he would have kept playing.

Up Next

Cleveland begins a three-game, season-ending series in Detroit with RHP Cal Quantrill (3-7, 5.13) facing LHP Joey Wentz (3-12, 6.45) on Friday.

Friday 9/29 7:10 PM EST – Game 1 @ Detroit Tigers

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