We’ll start with that, because José Ramírez continues to be the pivot on which this attack pivots. He doubled and drove in three more runs today. It is significant that Owen Miller, Myles Straw and Amed Rosario have added several successes to their campaign. However, Ramírez is building some serious Shaq energy for this franchise.

Yes Shaq. You might recall that for a period in the mid-90s, the Orlando Magic was too cool for school. I’m serious. They got kids to stop wearing Shaq and Penny jerseys without an undershirt at my elementary school when I was a kid. It was a whole.

Like Shaq, you can’t even begin to plan how to approach the Guardians until you have a plan in place for Ramírez. I’m not sure anyone has landed on anything that even comes close to Hack-a-Shaq’s effectiveness.

Comparisons between sports get fuzzier the more you watch them, so we’ll leave it at that. I would say we need a weird video game for Ramírez but it already exists.

Back to our metaphor: a fulcrum doesn’t do much on its own, but with the right gear and leverage, it’s pretty much the most powerful thing there is, other than the compound interest.

This offense rarely comes up with any hands — note the afternoons of Gonzalez, Clement, Mercado — but the complementary styles of play that surround Ramírez turn into a synergy on days like today. If there are enough guys, it just doesn’t matter; the races will take place. Cleveland consistently put the ball in play, made the Oakland defense work and added another unearned run to their offensive lineup today thanks to a pitching error. It’s fun to watch.

On the mound, Cal Quantrill continues to throw some really good baseball games. He may be feeling satisfied and GREAT, but now he’s pitched well enough for long enough for me to hold him to a HIGHER STANDARD. I’m just saying that I might say even nicer things about him in the future and he’ll just have to deal with the unprecedented and crushing consequences of a fairly small blogger rooting for him. I guess we’ll see how he RESPONDS.

Bryan Scorelessly Shaw’d.

Trevor Stephan has continued to work through the difficult period he has entered recently. Today he gave up a few homers in the eighth. It would be interesting to analyze what has changed in recent weeks for Stephan. A player’s “form” can change for many reasons, and sometimes it’s because others come up with a new strategy. We talk from time to time about the series of back and forth adjustments that are made in baseball. I think you can tell a lot about a player by watching how he works during his first league misses. Some guys are snapping helmets; other guys scratch their chins and go tweet a coach about what they think happened. Everything counts.

(some guys do both, stop staring at me)

Emmanuel Clase simply continues to be baseball’s most reliable player. There’s really no luck here either. His ERA is 1.93. His xERA is 1.94 and his xFIP is 1.90. It’s funny when someone’s results line up almost perfectly with their efforts. Many relievers are due to some sort of regression, but he is not one.

It ended up being a bit more of a “where are we at now” versus a recap of the game, but it looks like something clicked for Cleveland this weekend. I said it at the end of March and I’ll say it again: it’s a very good baseball team and the season ends in October.