Opening Day is always an exciting time. The start of a new era as the team will be known as the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians are finally spending money which is nice to see. Let’s not forget that Terry Francona is back in charge of the club after dealing with health issues.
Shane Bieber was named the opening day starter and looking to improve his numbers from last season. Last season Bieber had a record of seven wins, six losses, 134 strikeouts, and a 3.17 ERA. Early in the game, Shane Bieber was solid as he utilized his changeup to strike out Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi. Jose Ramirez would give the Guardians the lead in the top of the 4th as he hit a double to left field that scored Myles Straw.
Bieber was in a groove as he allowed just one hit heading into the bottom of the 5th inning. Then everything seemed to unravel. Hunter Dozier hit a fly ball to left field, Amed Rosario went over to his left and the ball hit his glove and rolled in front of him which allowed Dozier to cruise into second base. Regardless that Rosario is an infielder, he should have made that catch as that is a routine fly ball. The Royals would capitalize on that mistake as Nicky Lopez hit a double to right-center to score Dozier.
Triston McKenzie came in relief and did not have his best stuff. The number one prospect in baseball, Royals Bobby Witt Jr would get the first hit of his career on a rbi double in the 8th inning. The Royals would add on another run and would go on to win 3-1 in the season opener.
Zach Plesac took the ball for the Guardians in the second game. Plesac got off to a strong start. In the third inning, left fielder Steven Kwan laid out and made an incredible diving catch to rob Whit Merrifield of an extra-base hit to end the inning. Plesac continued to shut down the Kansas City offense as he finished the 4th inning with a pitch count of 48 pitches. It was a pitchers’ duel as neither starter gave up a run.
A scary moment for the Guardians in the bottom of the 6th when Whit Merrifield hit a rocket back towards the mound and hit the back of Zach Plesac, Amed Rosario made a sliding one-handed grab to record the out. Luckily, Plesac was okay and remained in the game. The Guardian’s bats were cold as they collected five hits. In the bottom of the 10th inning, the Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase surrendered the walk-off single to Adalberto Mondesi, who muscled a 100 mph fastball into centerfield to end the game.
The Guardians got off to a fast start as they erupted for six runs in the first inning, thanks to a grand slam by Guardians outfielder Oscar Mercado. In the second inning, the Guardians scored four runs to give them a 10-0 lead. It was an absolute hit parade as the Guardians had 22 hits as a team. Steven Kwan was not expected to make the team this year. Kwan had five hits in five at-bats and is batting .800.
Jose Ramirez hit his first home run of the season and finished his day with three hits and three rbi’s. Amed Rosario had four hits and collected three rbi’s. Owen Miller had a great game as he had three hits and four rbi’s. Cal Quantrill got the win, as the Guardians won by a final score of 17-3.
Cleveland got their offense going early, as they scored two runs in the first inning. Aaron Civale escaped the inning after loading the bases with one out. Royals catcher Salvador Perez, hit a single to left field which scored Bobby Witt Jr. Oscar Mercado would respond back with a two-run home run to give the Guardians a 4-1 lead.
Cleveland would add more runs as they scored two runs in the 7th inning, three runs in the 8th inning, and one run in the 9th to give the Guardians a 10-7 win. Amed Rosario and Owen Miller have gotten off to a great start to the season offensively. Steven Kwan has had the best start to a season in recent memory, as he has reached base 15 times in his first four MLB games which are the most by any player since 1901. An exciting start to the season no doubt.
Can Cleveland develop a core group of players to bring a winning culture? Only time will tell.