It was no surprise that all-star third baseman Jose Ramirez would be the player to save the day for the Cleveland Guardians after Tampa Bay seized a 1-0 lead in Game 1 of their AL wild card series on Friday. That’s what he’s been doing for months.
After the Guardians’ 2-1 victory, winning pitcher Shane Bieber said of the losing batter, “He’s inevitable.” “Doing it straight now was a significant deal. Any pitcher, including myself, can attest to that.”
On Friday, after Jose Siri had given the Rays the lead in the top of the sixth inning, Ramirez responded by smashing an 88 mph changeup for a 2-run home run. Successfully responded to.
Ramirez, speaking through the club’s interpreter, admitted that the idea of replying crossed his mind. “But we have a really excellent squad, so I felt we were competent to come back,” he said. “When it came off the bat I believed it was a homer,” the batter said, “but with this weather you never know.” “When I saw the center fielder attempting to get to the wall, I was kind of concerned and I sort of hurried up a little bit my pace (on the bases).
Right-handed batter Ramirez homered to left field off Rays starter Shane McClanahan, causing the home fans to go wild. The Guardians’ best player hit 29 home runs during the regular season, but his manager is more impressed by him when he isn’t even trying.
I know he was batting on 29 (during the regular season), and everyone was wanting it — and I understand why they want him to get 30,” Terry Francona said. “However, he scored two runs the other way. Many of his hits were penetrating the ball and remaining in play. Because he is such a great batter, balls will be hit out of the park.”
After putting Ramirez out twice with changeups, McClanahan decided to leave the pitch up.
His strategy was to “just look for that changeup,” he explained. “Twice he used the same sales pitch and both times I fell for it. Simply put, it’s an excellent sales pitch. This looks like a fastball, and that’s saying something. I waited for the right pitch and then tried to do as little as possible while still getting it to the other side of the field, and I made solid contact.”
The home run bolstered Bieber’s brilliant performance, in which he allowed just three hits over 7.2 innings while striking out eight. Even while he wouldn’t say it was his best performance of the year, given the stakes, it’s impossible to imagine him delivering a greater one. The Guardians need to win on Saturday to take the series.
A source of much-needed energy, according to Bieber, was the enthusiastic audience.
According to Bieber, “it was just a lot of fun out there.” “I didn’t miss the fact that many people there wanted us to succeed and were rooting for us to win. Something is why we do it; to ensure that we never take this for granted.”
The whole time of the game was only 2 minutes and 17 seconds, and it was played on a cold and foggy day in Cleveland. The game was decided by home runs, and it was a battle between two teams not recognized for their power at the plate.
Francona remarked, “Two home runs, theirs and ours.” Or, as the other team’s pitcher put it, “their man was extremely outstanding,” we may still be in the game.