Friday night, the Guardians got a much needed 9-8 victory against the Oakland Athletics.
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) April 30, 2022
The team was riding a six-game losing streak, coming off back-to-back sweeps against the Yankees and Angels.
Against the A’s, José Ramirez got things started off early, smashing a first-inning homer.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 30, 2022
Jose Ramirez is so good!!!! 🐐
— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) April 30, 2022
Additional homers from Andrés Giménez and Josh Naylor helped lift the Guards against the A’s.
Fans were especially thrilled by Naylor’s shot, which gave the Guardians the lead.
JOSH NAYLOR RAKES pic.twitter.com/KDJg6J4eKw
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) April 30, 2022
I've been saying it for 2 years: Josh Naylor has a beautiful, beautiful swing
— Tyler Carey (@TC_CLE) April 30, 2022
It’s a good sign Naylor got on the board.
With the long ball, hopefully Naylor plays with a little boost in his step going forward.
Reyes’ Rough Run
For Franmil Reyes, the behind the plate woes continued.
And fans took notice.
I figured out how to solve the energy crisis. Use the wind power from Franmil Reyes’ swings and misses to power all of the US.
— Rob Ostrom (@RobOstrom) April 30, 2022
Franmil Reyes is struggling at the plate. And that’s putting it nicely.
— Nick Pedone (@NickPedone12) April 26, 2022
It feels like forever since Reyes mashed his first homer of the season.
Since then, Reyes has been a nothing-burger.
In fact, that’s been the case most of the season.
Already, Reyes has been dropped down the lineup in favor of Owen Miller.
Unfortunately, the move hasn’t yet had the intended effect.
Reyes is leaving Manager Terry Francona with little options.
Could he really be benched?
It would be a tough move; no batter ever found their form riding the pine.
But in order for this team to stay competitive, Francona will need to seriously evaluate his options down the bench.
The Guardians continue against the A’s today, with Shane Bieber slated to take the mound.
Despite the skid and an 8-12 record, the Guardians still sit second in the AL Central.
Unfortunately, the first-place Twins have trended in the exact opposite direction of the Guardians.
In their last ten games, the Guardians have posted a 3-7 record.
Three games out of first is hardly an insurmountable lead, especially this early into the season.
Game over. The #Guardians 7-game losing streak is officially over with. Cleveland outlasts the Oakland Athletics 9-8.
Guardians now 8-12 on the young season, only 3 games out of first place.
— Nick Camino (@NickCaminoWKYC) April 30, 2022
Nonetheless, the Guardians need to recapture a little of that lightning in a bottle from earlier in the season.
Cleveland will need to put together a few wins quickly to both stop the bleeding and keep pace with their rival from the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.
Is this Guardians team destined for a fall run?
Or will the trend of crushing bad teams and being utterly unable to hang with good teams continue?
To really stay competing, the Guardians need rookie OF star Steven Kwan to come back and find his old form.
Kwan has been sidelined for several days with a hamstring injury.
And his offense has been clearly missing.
At the start of the season, his presence alone was a threat behind the plate, forcing pitchers to pick their poison between him and Ramirez.
Now, the lineup is picked apart, with pitchers knowing the only real offensive threat comes from Ramirez (and potentially Owen Miller).
Regardless, one thing is true.
It would be an excellent day for Franmil Reyes to get going.