- 7 out of 7 Yahoo! Sports experts picked the Red Sox to beat the Indians in the American League Division Series.
- 27 out of 32 ESPN experts picked the same.
- 6 of 7 USA Today writers picked the same.
- Two of 11 bold predictions for the MLB Playoffs on found on Fox Sports read “The Indians will push the Red Sox to the brink [but the Red Sox will win]” and “David Price will earn his money.”
- Bleacher Report picked the Red Sox to not only beat the Indians, but win the World Series.
- The Sporting News had this to say in regards to when Cleveland would go home:
“Trevor Bauer is overmatched by the Red Sox in Game 1 of the division series, Corey Kluber is off after having missed his final regular-season start with a strained quad and Josh Tomlin gets pounded around Fenway in Game 3, leaving Cleveland still without a win in a postseason game since 2007.”
The Indians finished off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last night, advancing to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2007. David Price surrendered 5 earned runs in just over 3 innings in a 6-0 Game 2 loss. Trevor Bauer held the Sox to 3 runs and struck out 6 in 4.1 innings in Game 1, Corey Kluber pitched into the 8th inning and surrendered no runs on three hits while striking out 7 in Game 2, and Josh Tomlin didn’t exactly get “pounded around Fenway” in Game 3 – 2 runs and 4 strikeouts in 5 innings, 0 home runs allowed.
Other than that, the national pundits
Let’s delve deeper into how bad most of them blew it.
Game 1 – Red Sox 4, Indians 5
Be honest, you were nervous about Trevor Bauer starting Game 1. Early on, it looked like your trepidation was justified. Hanley Ramirez drove in two runs in the first inning for Boston, the second of which would later be ruled an out upon further review.
Lonnie Chisenhall answered back in the bottom of the 2nd with an RBI single of his own, driving in Jose Ramirez who had reached on a double.
Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who looks like he got lost on his way to the Family Deck to play with some blocks and go down the spiral slide, put the Sox back up by 1 with a solo homer in the 3rd.
And then….the bottom of the 3rd.
Roberto Perez led off the inning with a little opposite field action:
After a Carlos Santana ground out, our middle infield went that one Drake song:
Watch the official MLB.com video of Lindor’s homer here. Listen to the crowd.
Two more solo homers for Boston and an RBI single from Kipnis would set the stage for Cody Allen to come in for the 5 out save with the score at 5-4 good guys.
The good guys won, 5-4.
Game 2 – Red Sox 0, Indians 6
Just absolute domination from start to finish. In a battle of “aces,” David Price left his start before reaching the 4th inning, having surrendered 5 runs. Corey Kluber allowed two less than that…of hits, not runs. In 7+ innings. With 7 strikeouts.
Brandon Guyer did what Brandon Guyer does against left handed pitching, going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Kip stayed hot with an RBI single. But the biggest chunk of the damage came on Chisenhall’s only homer off of a left handed pitcher all season:
Home field advantage, indeed.
Game 3 – Indians 4, Red Sox 3
After a rain out on Sunday, the stage was set for the Tribe to send David Ortiz off into the sunset and complete the sweep last night. Enter, Josh Tomlin. A contact pitcher against the most prolific offense in the American League in the regular season (by about 100 runs.)
With a fresh bullpen, the Little Cowboy only needed to keep us in the game until the 5th or 6th inning and give way to Miller and co.
5 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 strikeouts on 68 pitches. On the biggest stage of his life.
Tyler Naquin got us on the board in the 4th with a two-run single to right on an 0-1 curveball. Naquin was 0-3 with 3 strikeouts in the series before that at bat.
Benintendi hit a 90 foot opposite field pop up to left that went off the Green Monster to drive in a run an bring the Sox within 1 in the 5th.
Coco Crisp was due to hit in the 6th against left hander Drew Pomeranz. Every single Indians fan, including me, expected to see Brandon Guyer pinch hit. We didn’t.
That would end up being enough to send your American League Central Division champion Cleveland Indians to the ALCS – and first ballot Hall of Famer David Ortiz into retirement. His last curtain call was actually a really cool moment.
Anyway, on to the Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
See you Friday.
KEEP THE CHIEF