Civale falters at the start; Drought continues in Cleveland

In the end, the Guardians ran out of comebacks. And the youngest team in the majors couldn’t end baseball’s longest-running title drought.

Cleveland, which opted not to start ace Shane Bieber on short rest, fell behind almost immediately to a disastrous start by Aaron Civale.

And the Guardians never recovered. They fell 5-1 to the New York Yankees on Tuesday and were eliminated in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

New York won 3 games to 2 and advanced to meet Houston again in the American League Championship Series.

The Guardians are going home, where they will have plenty to be proud of over the winter. But his fans will feel the pain of disappointment again in October.

Cleveland lost its 11th straight do-or-die postseason game, a major league record.

The franchise is 1-8 in these types of win-or-die matchups. He lost the last eight after winning one at home against the Yankees in the 1997 division series. The streak began with an 11-inning loss in Game 7 of that year’s World Series against the Marlins in Florida.

There is only one longest such streak in major league history. This is the current streak of Oakland, of nine consecutive losses in duels of life or death, since 2000.

But with 17 rookies making their major league debuts this season, the Guardians appear to have a bright future, especially considering that slugger José Ramírez has signed a deal with the club through 2028.

A strong performance down the stretch of the season unexpectedly led the Guardians to the AL Central crown. They entered the playoffs in pursuit of what would have been the team’s first World Series title since 1948.

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And they would have achieved it in the first year since the franchise changed its nickname.

They swept Tampa Bay in the wild-card round and then, with a payroll nearly $200 million cheaper than New York’s, Cleveland came within a win of an upset.

They rallied from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5 in Game 3.

It was a reflection of his entire campaign. Cleveland led the majors with a record 29 wins in their last at-bat.

He did it three times in the playoffs. In all of them, it was Dominican rookie Óscar González who had the hit that produced the go-ahead run.

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