Guardians Officially Cooked After Devastating Doubleheader

Stick a fork in us, because we're done.
It's time for the Guardians to start looking ahead to 2024.
It's time for the Guardians to start looking ahead to 2024. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians' season was already on life support heading into Thursday's doubleheader with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cleveland entered play 6 games below .500 and 4.5 out of first in the AL Central, resulting in a 9.4% chance of making the playoffs.

Well, those odds are even lower now after what transpired on Thursday.

Guardians-Dodgers Doubleheader

After surprisingly winning the series opener, 8-3, on Tuesday, the Guardians just needed a split in Thursday's doubleheader to win the series (Wednesday's game was rained out). Instead, they failed to show up in either game, losing 6-1 in the opener and 9-3 in the nightcap.

Even worse, the division-leading Twins rallied from a 5-2 deficit against the Rangers, emerging with a 7-5 win.

Overall, it was a terrible day of baseball for Cleveland, which is now 8 games below .500 and 6 games out of a playoff spot with 34 to play. There's still time, technically, but it's running out fast.

As usual, the Guardians' bats were nowhere to be found. Four runs usually aren't enough to win one game against a team like the Dodgers, let alone two. But that's how many runs Cleveland scored in both games combined.

The first game was over almost immediately as LA jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Guardians even stepped up to the plate. Mookie Betts cracked 5 hits -- one more than Cleveland's entire lineup.

The Guardians actually had a lead in the second game, but it was short-lived. They took a 2-0 lead into the third inning, only to watch it steadily evaporate during the middle frames as Gavin Williams fell apart. The Dodgers led 7-2 by the fifth, and that was a wrap.

Los Angeles is the better team, and there's no shame in losing two out of three here. But to get outscored 15-4 in one day at home with your season on the line, that hurts.

If you're writing an obituary for Cleveland's 2023 season, you can put down Aug. 24 as the date of death. It was the latest and biggest setback in a month of many, and it was probably the final nail in the coffin.

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