Guardians lose to Rangers after Trevor Stephan’s command issues –

Guardians lose to Rangers after Trevor Stephan’s command issues

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00:07 UTC

ARLINGTON — After Saturday’s loss, Guardians manager Terry Francona said one of his biggest goals for Sunday was to get Stephan Trevor and Emmanuel Clase in the game, regardless of the score. But even that did not come to fruition.

Stephan got the ball with a three-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but gave up four runs that led to the Guardians. 6-5 loss to the Rangers at Globe Life Field.

With the game ending after the top of the ninth, Clase was left in the pen and the Guardians walked away with their first four-game losing streak of the season. They had been the only remaining MLB team not to experience a more than four-game losing streak this season.

All the teams have just come off a four-day break. As much as players welcome that break, there’s a fine line between rejuvenating and collecting dust. Francona knew that because Clase and Stephan hadn’t pitched in the first two contests, he was skirting the last one and he wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.

It turned out that the Guardians had a three-run lead in the final innings given to Stephan and Clase this season. Not only would they get jobs, but they could be used in their traditional roles and Class might have had a chance to save itself.

Instead, Stephan recorded a quick first out, but immediately missed the strike zone. He walked the next two batters and the Guardians tried to avoid the domino effect by having a brief meeting on the mound.

However, Adolis Garcia hit a 2-1 pitch to the warning track in left field for a two-run double to cut the Rangers’ deficit to one. With the potential tying run on third and the infield deep, Josh Jung singled up the left side, driving up two runs, including the go-ahead run that inevitably led to the Rangers victory.

“They all had the same layoff, so I feel like it’s all the same. [I] It just wasn’t very good,” Stephan said of the time since his last outing. “I just didn’t get ahead, I didn’t make good counts and I just didn’t finish off any batter and they made me pay.”

Stephan’s season has been strange compared to what he did last year. In 2022, he emerged as one of the most reliable relief arms in the back of Cleveland’s bullpen. He more than earned the right to claim that spot going into ’23. But this year, he hasn’t missed as many bats and hitters are facing him a lot more often.

He has lost some speed and his walking rate has increased. In all of last season, she blew just two saves. So far this year, she has flown six.

It’s been more inconsistent for Stephan this year, the same way the bullpen was around all weekend. On Friday, the ‘pen gave up 12 runs, which was the first time in almost two years that the group had allowed more than 10 runs in a game. On Saturday, the relievers rallied to pitch three scoreless innings. Then on Sunday it fell apart again.

The Guardians had to turn to Sam Hentges to end the eighth inning, an arm they probably hoped to avoid using. Normally, this wouldn’t be much of a problem, but with the pen having a tough series and now heading into a scheduled bullpen game on Monday, it wasn’t the ideal scenario.

But it was critical that starter Tanner Bibee was able to work through six innings Sunday, despite a line drive hitting his foot and another line drive missing just off the top of his head. He allowed just two runs on five hits and threw 98 pitches.

“I think an extra inning is really helpful for the corral, especially since they were a little nervous,” Bibee said. “So, I think it was good for me to go at six today.”

The Guardians plan to start Xzavion Curry on Monday in Pittsburgh to start bullpen play as the team tries to rebuild pitching in place of an injured Shane Bieber. But the Guardians have not lost confidence that they will be able to figure everything out in the meantime.

“We always trust our bullpen,” Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan said. “If it’s the seventh inning, we have a one-run lead, I feel like we do. They have been so good. Sometimes they slip a bit and it happens. … It’s just baseball. It’s part of that.”

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Raven Asher

Hey there, I'm Raven Asher, a writer and blogger currently studying at McMaster University. My passion lies in arts and culture, and I love exploring and sharing my thoughts on different aspects of this field through my writing. I've been fortunate enough to have my articles featured on several blogs and news websites, which has allowed me to connect with readers from all over the world. Apart from writing, I'm also an avid traveler, and I love experiencing different cultures and learning new things. Join me on my journey as I explore the world and share my insights on everything art and culture!

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