Wednesday, October 5 2022

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Hi Hoynsie: Now that the Guards are neck and neck with the Twins and White Sox, are there factors that favor a team like schedule strength or weakness, injuries, etc. ? –Jim Mullen, Bay Village.

Hi Jim: The White Sox and Twins suffered more major injuries than the G’s. Currently, the White Sox are without All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson (left middle finger), while the Twins are without outfielder Alex Kirilloff (right wrist).

here’s how Fangraphs.com rates the strength of the Guardians, Twins and White Sox schedule for the remainder of the season: G’s .498, Twins .500 and White Sox .475. Fangraphs, through Friday night, gives the Guardians a 59.4% chance of making the playoffs, followed by the Twins at 54.4% and the White Sox at 36.3%.

When it comes to winning in the AL Central, the G’s come in at 42.9%, the Twins at 36.9% and the White Sox at 20.3%.

Hi Hoynsie: When a player struggles to hit, like Myles Straw, don’t batting coaches spend more time with him? It’s been going on for a while. – Bev B., Cleveland.

Hi Bev: The Guardians have a team of three hitting coaches and they spend time with all the hitters on the roster, especially those who are in a funk. Straw had a tough season, that’s for sure.

It started hitting .291 in April, but has been erratic ever since. It reached 0.178 in May and 0.149 in June. It rebounded to 0.278 in July, but is back in the tank in August, hitting 0.093 (5 for 53).

Last season, Straw hit .285 (68 for 239) out of first place after Cleveland acquired him from Houston. The Guardians were so impressed that they signed him to a five-year extension. Maybe trying to justify the extension weighs on him. It’s a humbling game, but at least Straw still plays well in center field.

Hi Hoynsie: In the recent series with Detroit, the players looked tired after playing 27 games in 26 days. With the younger roster, is there a concern that the young players will hit or run into the wall given that there are more games than they will have played in their professional career?— Gene La Suer, Des Moines, Iowa.

Hi, Gene: Fatigue is a real concern, but not as much as in the past when the Class AAA season ended the first week of September. In 2021, the Triple-A season was extended through October due to the pandemic. This year the The Triple-A schedule has been expanded from 144 to 150 games and will continue until September 20.

The new schedule allows minor league players to get used to the longer season they would experience in the big leagues. It also gives big league teams a place to rehabilitate injured players and a pool of ready-to-play players to recall in the final weeks of the season.

Hi Hoynsie: Will there be expanded rosters in September? If so, who could the Guardians conjure up? — Dave Brothers, Canton.

Hi Dave: The rosters can be expanded from 26 to 28 players on September 1, so don’t expect a lot of reinforcements. Prior to the 2020 season, teams could promote as many players from their 40-man roster as they wished.

Hi Hoynsie: Ultimately, who is the biggest threat to the Guardian’s chances in Central – Minnesota, the White Sox or themselves? –Carl, Orlando.

Hi Carl: As comic book character Pogo once said, “We’ve met the enemy and it’s us.” All Guardians have to do is tend their own garden.

Hi Hoynsie: Looking at the box score for the Guardians’ 8-4 win over Detroit on Wednesday, I see that the runs they scored in that bizarre eighth inning were scored as earned. Since they all came after a wild pitch on the third strikeout, why are they earned runs? –Jeff Spiess.

Hi Jeff: If Luke Maile had reached first on a passed ball instead of a wild pitch, the points would not have been earned. A wild pitch, under the rule, is considered solely the fault of the pitcher and must contribute to an earned run just like a base on balls or disallowance.

Guardians goods for sale: This is where you can order new Cleveland Guardians gear including t-shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies and more.

If you or a loved one have questions and need to speak to a gambling professional, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or the from the National Council on Program Gambling (NCPG) at 1-800-522-4700.

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