Oh, where to begin with this Guardians team of late?
Swept by the Cincinnati Basement-Dwellers?
Managing only two runs against the league’s worst pitching?
Both of those stink, but at least they are recoverable.
Losing José Ramirez, on the other hand?
And the collective gasps heard across Progressive Field after Ramirez fouled a ball off his shin and went down on Thursday afternoon were clear recognition of that fact.
Sending Prayers and Salutes
In the eighth inning, the injury came as Ramirez chopped an inside pitch into his leg.
Jose Ramirez hit a RBI single after fouling a ball off his leg. He then left the game after getting on base. pic.twitter.com/tuFvlAMCRf
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 19, 2022
After rolling around for a minute and fielding questions from the medical staff and Manager Terry Francona, Ramirez ambled back to the box to continue the at-bat.
Then he delivered.
After staying in, Ramirez shot a single grounder between first and second, which drove home a runner.
Unfortunately, Ramirez had to be taken out after that, and the team sent on a pinch runner in Ramirez’s place.
Fans instantly took to Twitter to send prayers that Cleveland’s star was okay and express their admiration for his toughness:
I do hope and pray to God that Jose Ramirez is okay and his injury is not serious I'm hoping the guardians can end their losing skid by sweeping the tigers and get back to .500
— Austin Miller (@AustinM17387536) May 20, 2022
José Ramírez down after taking a foul ball of of himself. Seems to be a leg injury. The trainers as well as Manager Terry Francona are out to check on him
— Joe Collins (@joedcollins1) May 19, 2022
#Guardians manager Terry Francona said Jose Ramirez is "sore" after fouling a ball off his right shin. Said the 3rd baseman undergoing x-rays to make sure he's OK
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) May 19, 2022
My god. Right on the shin.
Jose Ramirez is top 5 on my list for favorite ballplayers. Hope he's alright.
— Nati Sports (@Nati_Sports) May 19, 2022
Jose Ramirez is
🕯 okay 🕯
— Jram4MVP (16-19) (@CleGuardians12) May 19, 2022
Today is a fantastic day for Jose Ramirez to have clean X-ray results.
— La Mole (@FranmilsEyebrow) May 20, 2022
Chad Jose Ramirez fouls a ball off his shin and stays in to hit an RBI single
Your 3B could NEVER
— 𝓝𝓸𝓵𝓪𝓷❄️ (@Boilermakers4er) May 19, 2022
Wow! @MrLapara takes a painful foul ball off his shin, then knocks in an RBI on the very next pitch.
I imagine he’s going to get tomorrow off.
— Kev 💭 (@homebrew_kev) May 19, 2022
Ramirez was already a darling of the fans before staying in after the foul ball, and this will only elevate his status as such.
Francona provided the following update after the game:
“He’s pretty sore, he fouled the ball above his (protective) pad, just below his knee. For him to react like that, he’s a pretty tough kid. He’s going to get some X-rays, but he’s sore.”
Let’s hope Ramirez only takes a game or two to rest before rejoining the lineup.
Despite the run driven in by Ramirez, the Guardians still fell short to the Reds, 4-2.
A two-game sweep against Cincinnati is a tough pill to swallow for this Cleveland side.
Not only is it an embarrassing look, but it dropped the Guardians another game back in the race for the AL Central.
It’s a shame, given how none of Cleveland’s division opponents have been on an exceptionally strong tear lately.
The White Sox and Twins have gone 5-5 over their last ten, which means that the Guardians lost a real shot over the last week-and-a-half to make up ground.
Perhaps more concerning is that the Guardians are in the middle of a mini-offensive slump.
The team managed only three hits on the day against the Reds Thursday.
If the offensive woes were going to come, this would, in theory, be the optimal time, considering Cleveland is playing relatively weak teams in Cincinnati and, up next, Detroit.
But the fact that the team can’t get it done against the Reds, of all teams?
It’s a bad sign.
Further, it was another strong pitching performance wasted.
Guardians starter Cal Quantrill was solid through seven innings, giving up just one run and striking out five.
The Guardians essentially had seven innings-worth of chances to build a lead and failed.
Division bottom feeders Detroit Tigers.
Would be an excellent time to get the bats going again.