As we end the 2018 postseason trek (prematurely) let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of Cleveland Indians playoffs past.
This is done for two reasons:
- I enjoy talking about the big wins – many of which came at the expense of the Yankees, and
- This year’s playoffs (to be charitable) didn’t work out the way we wanted… but as a Facebook friend recently commented, we lived through the days of Shelley Duncan, Manny Acta and more, so the past few years have been pretty good to us. This series is a celebration of some of the best moments of the past few years.
With that, let’s start with the Cleveland Indians going to Boston in 2016, and hitting a few home runs.
The wild ride to the 2016 World Series
At the start of September 2016 it looked like the Indians were in great shape for a postseason run. Three weeks later? Not so much.
On September 9, Danny Salazar aggravated his elbow injury and was ruled out for an extended period. Best case Salazar would be back late in the playoffs.
And I start thinking “Next Year”.
The Indians drew Boston in the ALDS.
A quick comparison of the rotations:
- Rick Porcello, Cy Young Award winner (get over it Kate Upton, your husband lost).
- David Price
- Clay Buchholz
- Trevor Bauer – the fifth starter if everyone is healthy.
- Corey Kluber, pushed back a day due to a strained quad.
- Josh Tomlin – three good September starts, but he was sent to the bullpen as recently as August.
Furthermore, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks “Big Papi is retiring. The Cubs are in the playoffs too. It will just be too good of a story – Big Papi against the Cubs. We will be eliminated. Just like 2007. And 1999.”
Terry Francona had other ideas.
Which brings us to the one of the best all-time games
The Red Sox lead by one in the bottom of the third when the Indians go all Oprah on Porcello. “You get a home run, and you get a home run and you get a home run.” Roberto Perez, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor all go yard.
You know… for a .160 hitter, Robbie Perez sure seems to get some big home runs when we need them.
The Red Sox close the gap to 4-3 in the fifth. That’s when Tito says “Okay boys – Miller Time!” Two innings, no runs, four strikeouts.
Cleveland 5, Boston 4. The game ends when Dustin Pedroia thinks he checked his swing on a full count, but the umpire thinks otherwise. Strike three, game over.
It’s the start of a quick three-game sweep. The next game features a 6-0 shutout, mostly done by Corey Kluber (although David Price deserves credit for the Indians offensive output.).
Game three is in Boston. Tomlin lasts five innings, then Miller shuts the door for two. Indians win the game 4-3, and the series 3-0.
There is no such thing as the ALDS MVP, but if there were, it would have been Andrew Miller.