This story was excerpted from Mandy Bell’s Guardians Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.
“Did you enjoy that?!” he yelled at reporters as we entered the room, with a grin stretching wider than the length of a football field.
Everyone had just witnessed history, seeing Naylor become the first player to log at least eight RBIs from the eighth inning on. His best friend Reyes was not only ready to brag about him, but also about the fact that he predicted the comeback.
Before Naylor was even presented with the opportunity to knot the score at 8 as the Guardians were down to their last out, Andrés Giménez chipped away at the team’s six-run deficit with a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth. Prior to Giménez even stepping into the box, Reyes turned to Triston McKenzie and said, “McKenzie, we’re going to come back and take the lead in this game, and we’re gonna win it.”
What made him think the improbable comeback — one that Baseball Savant calculated to have just a 0.2% chance of happening — was a sure thing?
“I don’t know,” Reyes said. “’The Franimal’ was heating up and I got four strikeouts today. Something good should be happening.”
If you can’t tell by Reyes referring to himself in the third person as “The Franimal,” his comment about his 0-for-5 night…