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Munch Musings from E. 53rd and Hamm Ave. on the Cleveland Guardians

I am truly ecstatic that baseball is back and under way. Why? I’ll say it now…because BASEBALL IS THE BEST! I’ll get the scolding out of the way and highlight things that make me smile. Truly this is the proverbial “I have good news and bad news.” I’ll say emphatically that members of the Cleveland Guardians are hungry and hustling out of the gate…keep that up all year. Play Guardians baseball. PUT AND KEEP THE PRESSURE on the opponents. Yup, the MLB is a marathon and not a sprint! Keep in mind and I will stress this a few times that we are only FIVE GAMES IN so there is no panic and I am simply pointing out items I have witnessed. The good ones? KEEP THEM UP! The bad ones? Let’s eliminate those miscues fellas.

First and foremost to the Cleveland Guardians pitching staff – THROW STRIKES! The Guards are 3-2 to start the season and, in both losses, the winning run was walked in! Sheesh! In Sunday’s loss Eli Morgan walked the winning run home on 4 pitches! The team has a nice rally to come back which is a very good sign but PARDON FREAKING ME? Last night Nick Sandlin walked in the winning run after another comeback by the Guards. GENTS…KNOCK IT OFF! It was so good seeing Dr. Sticks on the hill but lo and behold…in the 2nd inning he walked 2 of the first 3 batters and yes, they scored. One on a single and on board for a Home Run. So, 3 of the M’s 5 runs happened due to walks.

Something else and this one is puzzling as Gabriel Arias sure looks like a baseball player and the team has invested quite a bit in him. However, he booted a ball Sunday on the first at bat (yes in scorer friendly Oakland the A’s player was awarded a hit) and indeed that batter scored. C’mon Gabe! You cannot hit (are you too busy checking out good looking females in the on-deck circle instead of watching the pitcher?) so at least play the field. Hoping Angel Martinez gets healthy soon as there is a spot for Mr. Arias in Cbus.

I was also taken aback by our Skipper sitting David Fry and Tyler Freeman is game vs the A’s. Fry had 3 hits in the first game and Freeman 2. Tyler is your CF, play him just about every game and if a player is hitting the ball from the get-go KEEP HIM IN THE LINEUP.

Looking at the starters it was great to see Shane Bieber working his craft ala his Cy Young season in his initial start of the season. I know…it’s one game but Shane did what he was supposed to do, and it was masterful. Thank you Biebs! Logan Allen looked good. Just good. He gave up 3 runs but did not walk anyone. Now Tanner Bibee had a rough outing, but the Guards 12 runs would heal most wounds. Rough? I would call 6 hits, 4 runs and 5 (5!!) walks in 4 innings rough. Touching watching Cookie toe the rubber and he was decent. Gonna need more from that wonderful human and pros pro though. Not sure if he has it but if anyone can harness some success it is Mr. Carrasco. I mentioned Triston earlier and I am certain his juices were flowing as he took mound last night. Not a particularly good outing without control and throwing way too many pitches.

In the bullpen early on I am not sure who I trust in games other than Cade Smith and Emmanuel Clase! YUP Cade Smith. Clase still must be the man to slam the door, but he will need help. I do not feel Barlow should be tossed in for more than one inning either.

In the field Josh Naylor MUST take extra infield and more throws at first. Simple. He is the cleanup hitter…SKIPPER…keep him there! Andres Gimenez will return to his 2022 year with the bat and Jose is…JOSE and MVP candidate for sure. Brayan Rocchio needs to be the everyday SS day “for now” and Bo must be behind the plate as much as possible. In the OF Kwan and Freeman are set…feel free to mix and match in RF until another viable option is set for daily duty. A big question is Estevan Florial. Can his AAA production translate? With all the above noted this lineup WILL score more runs this year. RUN RUN RUN…put the other team on their heels. DISRUPT!

Will it be a fun year? Heck, yes? Some learned media members have the team at 70 wins. That is an outlandishly low total. To me 86 looks right but the kids must focus and eliminate stupid mistakes. One of the most important names that will lead to success of the team is Manger Stephen Vogt. For the Skip is OJT (On the Job Training) must be accelerated and experimenting is not a good thing, and he must rely on baseball acumen that the savvy Managers put into play. Tito was able to do that (He felt KWAN was the answer from the get-go) and we know it would be unfair to lay Tito’s prowess on Stephen. Another accelerated learning curve must be in order for third base coach Rouglas Odor. This is the bigs and the way the team plays it cannot afford to get runners picked off or not send guys when they should be sent as this team will need runs until the young power studs are ready for duty.

I look forward to seeing you at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario frequently this season. My very best and GO GUARDIANS!

Read more of my musings and thoughts at – #MunchOnSports is powered by Ganley Chevy Of Aurora and the Ken Ganley Automotive Group.

Please take care of each other and it’s your world, pay attention. Always enjoy every sandwich and for now ADIOS AMIGO, long may you run.


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