The Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays kicked off playoff season at Progressive Field in exciting fashion.
Bieber ended up prevailing because he allowed just one run, struck out eight, conceded just three hits, and stayed on the mound for 7.2 innings.
Emmanuel Clase got the last four outs and Cleveland fans went home happy, celebrating a playoff victory for the first time in a while.
McClanahan was also very good, but the home run he surrendered was of the two-run variety: that was the ballgame right there.
Apart from that, he was almost as impressive as Bieber, retiring hitters left and right with his overpowering fastball and his excellent breaking ball.
The high level shown by the two starters and how quick they worked all afternoon meant that the game flew by very quickly.
The Fastest Game In 23 Years
What you probably didn’t know is that it was the fastest playoff game in more than 20 years.
“Today’s Rays-Guardians game lasted 2 hours and 17 minutes. It’s the shortest #Postseason game since 1999 (NLDS Astros vs Braves Game 2),” Fox Sports MLB tweeted after the game was over.
Today's Rays-Guardians game lasted 2 hours and 17 minutes.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 7, 2022
Everything added up to make it one of the fastest games you will see: two effective starters who didn’t allow too much traffic on the bases and got quick outs.
It’s an amazing development for MLB, as it is constantly looking for games to be faster.
However, it’s not a common occurrence in the playoffs, where pitchers take a bit more time to relax and execute.
Postseason games are often longer, not faster than regular season games.
This was a clear exception.
Guardians fans won’t complain, though.