Unfortunately for Josh Naylor and the Cleveland Guardians his “Rock The Baby” celebration only served as fuel to New York’s fire, as the Bronx Bombers would score early and often behind homers by MLBbro Bombers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in a 5-1 victory to clinch the ALDS in five games on Tuesday afternoon in the Bronx.
Naylor went 0-4 amidst heavy boos all night from the Bronx faithful, and they even broke out the famous “Who’s Your Daddy?” chant we saw them use against Boston Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez in the 2004 ALCS.
Except for his now legendary and embarrassing moment, Josh surely didn’t have the postseason he would have liked, slashing .194/.194/.323 with one homerun and three RBI in 31 plate appearances. This was a considerable drop from the .256/.319/.452 he hit during the regular season, his first full season with Guardians.
The Guardians were simply overpowered by the Yankees, but despite being eliminated tonight there’s a lot of positives that we can take from their 2022 run. Projected by many to finish third or dead last in the AL Central — in what many considered a “rebuild” year — the Guardians not only won the division but were one game away from an ALCS berth.
Now armed with playoff experience, it will be interesting to see not only how this club grows but just how this front office goes about adding to the roster. The Guardians haven’t been known to spend recently, but a few moves during the offseason could see Cleveland return as favorites to win the division again.
The Rise of Triston McKenzie
Triston McKenzie probably took the biggest step forward this season aside from Cy Young candidate & fellow AL Central member Dylan Cease. Known as a pitcher who has all the tools but just needed to work on his command, McKenzie showed flashes of brilliance this season and created a formidable 1-2 punch with Cy Young winner Shane Bieber.
His 11-11 win/loss record doesn’t reflect just how good Triston was this season, so let’s take a deeper dive into some of his numbers. He finished the season with a 2.96 ERA in 191.1 innings pitched, striking out 190 batters while surrendering 138 hits in the same span.
McKenzie’s curveball was dominant this season, as hitters were batting .140 and slugging a lowly .203 against it all season.
Will Naylor Bros Get Opportunity to Play Together?
Something to keep an eye on heading into Spring Training with this ball club is Josh Naylor’s younger brother, Bo. The Guardians may have added him as a third catcher this postseason season but given how unproductive their everyday catchers have been offensively, he may get the opportunity to see his role increase.
Having the Naylor Bro’s on the opening day roster would mark the first time two brothers have started on the same team since the Upton’s did it with the Atlanta Braves.
The Yankees advance to meet another arch-nemesis Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.