As a baseball fan, there's nothing more frustrating that watching the bullpen squander a great performance by a starting pitcher.
Unfortunately for the Guardians, that's exactly what happened to them during Monday's game against the Astros.
Noah Syndergaard was cruising in his debut for Cleveland after being acquired from the Dodgers in a trade last week. He hadn't skipped a beat in his first start in nearly two months, working into the sixth inning and barely breaking a sweat against a dangerous Astros lineup with only 68 pitches.
Unfortunately, that 68th pitch was hit right back at him by Jeremy Pena and struck him on the lower right leg, knocking him out of the game. With a runner on third and one out, Terry Francona summoned Eli Morgan from the bullpen to try to preserve the Guardians' 2-0 lead.
Instead, he promptly imploded, allowing an RBI single, a walk and a three-run homer. He recorded just one out and didn't even finish the inning, necessitating another pitching change. Syndergaard could only watch as his gem went to waste in the span of a few batters.
Houston didn't look back after that, cruising to a 7-3 victory and knocking Cleveland a game below .500. The Guardians will try to bounce back from that demoralizing defeat today, but we don't love their chances as a road underdog.
At the very least, we hope Morgan says he's sorry to Syndergaard. You only get one chance to make a first impression, after all, and Morgan ruined it.
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