Hug watch will be on full alert during tonight’s game
The Guardians and Diamondbacks may be familiar with each other through spring training games, but the two clubs haven’t faced off in the regular season in half a decade.
The final game between these two took place on April 9, 2017, and it featured everything you know and love from mid-2010’s Cleveland baseball. Corey Kluber pitched six innings, allowed two runs, and lost. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen came in to close out the game, and Michael Martinez was a pinch-hitter. Fun for the whole family.
Neither team has enjoyed much postseason success since that fateful matchup, but at least the Guardians have made it a couple of times. Arizona was swept by the Dodgers in the 2017 NLDS and haven’t made a peep since. They’ve certainly tried, and some talented players along the way, but they haven’t been able to enough all at once to make a run at the postseason.
Cleveland will be seeing one of those players, Zac Gallen, on the mound tomorrow. The 26-year-old burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2019, pitched like a Cy Young contender in 2019, and after a brief stumbled in 2021 looks like he’s rounding back into form. He has all but eliminated a failed attempt at a slider that cost him so many runs last season, and has gone back to relying heavily on a mid-90s four-seamer, curveball, changeup, and cutter. All four can act as an out pitch for him, so like we saw with Corey Kluber on the Rays over the weekend, go deep into the count to your own peril.
The Guardians will be spared any “Bryan Shaw, Professional Opener” shenanigans this series, with Cal Quantrill, Triston McKenzie, and Shane Bieber taking the mound. Might this be a playoff rotation preview if they can hold off the White Sox and make the postseason (although, maybe not in that order)?
Team at a glance
- Record: 45-56 (11th in NL)
- Runs Scored: 466 (12th in NL)
- Run Differential: -35 (10th in NL)
- Last 10: 6-4
- Slash: .224/.304/.384
- wOBA: .302 (13th in NL)
- wRC+: 91 (13th in NL)
- ERA: 4.18 (10th in NL)
- SIERA: 4.26 (13th in NL)
- K-BB%: 11.3% (12th in NL)
Monday, Aug. 1, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Cal Quantrill vs. RHP Zach Davies
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 7:10 p.m. ET: RHP Triston McKenzie vs. RHP Zac Gallen
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 1:10 p.m. ET: RHP Shane Bieber vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner