Guardians’ Shane Bieber is on target, defeating Rays in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series

CLEVELAND – Sure, it was in the back of his mind somewhere. He’s human, after all, even if his slider isn’t.

Shane Bieber’s only other postseason start was a disaster, and it doesn’t take many of those for the boys to develop a reputation for something like that. Two, maybe three, bad performances in the playoffs and suddenly those sparkling numbers from the regular seasons start to fade.

Bieber doesn’t have to worry about that right now. He dominated Friday’s 2-1 win over Tampa Bay and gave the Guardians an important 1-0 lead in this best-of-three American League wildcard series. Cleveland is now one more win away from progressing.

Bieber didn’t concede a hit until the fifth inning. The Rays’ only run was a solo homer against Jose Siri in sixth place on a pitch that was down and away. Siri struck anyway. Bieber mastered his fastball, edging well and finishing off helpless hitters with a deadbeat slider that consistently dived out of the hitting zone.

The Rays’ Shane McClanahan was Bieber’s equal. Every ace allowed a home run, it’s just that Jose Ramirez hit his with a runner on base. Two of the league’s top pitchers turned baseball back in time 40 years in a fucking duel that lasted a full 2 ​​hours and 17 minutes. Guardians’ Shane Bieber is on target, defeating Rays in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series

John Verrall

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