The Guardians are experts at staying loose, and it’s helping them in come-from-behind, walk-off wins

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Walking into the Guardians clubhouse on Thursday morning, you would have no idea what happened at Progressive Field Wednesday night, and you would have no idea what was going to happen in the next five hours.

Cleveland had just come off an unlikely 7-6 win over the Twins, delivered by an epic Josh Naylor 2-run walk-off homer that capped the evening and started chaos.

As Naylor walked around the bases, he threw his bat and helmet into the sky. The home celebration was semi-controlled by his teammates as Naylor has to tend the right leg he injured against the Twins in Minneapolis almost a year ago. His teammates still threw coolers of water at him and ripped off his jersey while buttons flew in slow motion on the show. He also found manager Terry Francona, who donned a batting helmet for the occasion and headbutted him. Francona later joked with reporters that he would freeze his neck.

Less than 12 hours later, however, it was nothing but the usual pregame business. Players going through their routines, playing cards, or enjoying a Nerf basketball hoop showed up at the clubhouse this week with a newly placed 3-point arc and foul line made from sports tape (the tape became the provided). Myles Straw).

But less than two hours later, the Guardians were back to business, repeating some of Wednesday’s magic with a 5-3 walk-off win thanks to a double strike from Andrés Giménez in the centre.

The second baseman put together quite an epic celebration of his own, kissing his bat before tossing it toward the twins’ dugout. He threw up his hands in cheers as he rounded the bases and tossed his helmet towards the pitcher’s mound after the third round. As he prepared to enter the chaos – his teammates waited on home plate – he mimicked a sleep motion, closing his eyes and cupping his hands on the right side of his face, an apparent warning to others in the league not to continue to sleep him.

The two game-winning shots over the past two days are the only home runs the Twins’ pitching team has given up in this five-game streak.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Shane Bieber after the game. “I don’t think we take that for granted. This is primarily a blessing. We look forward to coming in every day, we keep it easy, the boys play nerf basketball before the game. Obviously with some good vibes from last night. But to be able to repeat that today is something special.”

The win is Cleveland’s 18th come-from-behind win this season as well as 17th in his last at-bat.

If the clutch gene is real, it’s safe to say that Cleveland (39-34) shares it. No matter how many runs they’ve come on, no matter the size of the moment, Cleveland always has a man who’s ready to take the call.

But the fact that the Guardians are just a game away from first place in AL Central behind the Twins and that they’ve won so many victories the hard way is particularly impressive given their youth. According to Baseball Reference, the Guardians have both the youngest average batting age (26.1) and youngest pitching age (26.5) in Major League Baseball.

Despite their young age, manager Terry Francona said he rarely sees the frustration typical of less experienced players when faced with in-game adversity.

“You don’t see guys throwing helmets and stuff,” Francona said. “I’m sure they’re frustrated, but they just keep playing. It’s impressive for a young team, I think, because a lot of the time guys try to fight their way through the league and forget about the scoreboard. Our boys know well what the score is and what we have to do to try to win.”

The victories alone would be exciting but considering the Guardians didn’t even really know what they had with this young group entering the season it has made the year a special ride so far.

“We went out earlier this year without knowing it,” GM Mike Chernoff said ahead of Thursday’s game. “They create opportunities for young players. We knew that we have a super young team and that there could be a lot of ups and downs. But to see how the team played, how some of the young players really settled in and felt comfortable, also through some ups and downs at the beginning, and probably most importantly, to see some of our comebacks that we’ve had.

“Our boys never give up and I think that’s a sign the team is growing together. You can see the energy in the dugout, but also the sign of a team that we believe can continue to do real things in the future.”

Players realize how unique this situation is. They generally enjoy being together, and as Straw said, sometimes they have more fun off the field than on it (yet Straw loses nerf basketball games to Franmil Reyes).

But winning against the odds was what helped this bond more than anything.

“We’ve just won a lot of games, and then it really comes down to just winning baseball games, and most of these guys on this team are doing really well right now and they have no reason to get excited,” Stroh said. “So we win, we play well and that’s all that matters. Win games and try to get back to first place in the division. We just have to keep playing and trying to win baseball games.”

Guardian merch for sale: Here you can order new Cleveland Guardians gear including t-shirts, caps, jerseys, hoodies and much more.

If you or a loved one have questions and need to speak to a gambling professional, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the National Council on Program Gambling Helpline (NCPG) at 1-800-522 . 4700

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