Josh Naylor had a historic night on Monday, one for the MLB record book.
Naylor played a significant role in mounting a comeback for the Cleveland Guardians. Going into the ninth inning, the Tribe trailed 8-2 and went on to score six runs to force extra innings and eventually win the game–12-9 over the Chicago White Sox.
JOSH NAYLOR GRAND SLAM 🙌
Guardians score 6 runs in the ninth to tie the game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 10, 2022
The big story is Naylor’s performance. He finished the game going 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and eight RBI.
Yes, this brother had eight RBI in one game, making him the first player in MLB history with eight RBI in the eighth inning or later, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Most people may have thought the White Sox were going to cruise to a victory going into the ninth inning, but Naylor and the Guardians had different plans.
Down to their final out in the ninth inning, Naylor stepped up to the plate for the Guardians and hit a grand slam to tie the game up.
Talk about a clutch moment right there, but he wasn’t done. In the 11th inning, he launched a three-run homer to secure the win for the Guardians.
Guardians’ manager Terry Francona has enjoyed watching Naylor at the plate this season.
“We all see some days, it’s a little harder for him to move around a little bit, and that’s understandable,” Francona said in an article from the Akron Beacon Journal. “But he looks really good in the batter’s box. And you can tell when things happen, how much it means. He’s really emotional, but I get it. He missed playing baseball and he missed playing with his teammates, and it means a lot to him.”
It’s good to see Naylor having this success early on in the season because he’s been through a lot.
He was making a name for himself last season in Cleveland before suffering a leg injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
Naylor had to put in the work during the off season to make sure to get back to dominant form.
And his hard work is paying off. Through 19 games this season, he’s hitting .338 with four home runs and 21 RBI. There’s no question that he’s been one of the hottest hitters in the American League as of late. You can see how much confidence he has at the plate now and that has been a key part of his development over the last few seasons.
Naylor possesses a lot of power in that bat and we’re starting to see that more consistently now.
“Nothing surprises me what he can do with the bat,” teammate Franmil Reyes said about Naylor’s performance on Monday night in an ESPN article. “That was amazing. A legendary moment.”
The Guardians have a special talent and need to do all they can to keep him around because he has All-Star potential.