What Went Wrong in the ALDS
It’s been 24 hours since the conclusion of the Red Sox Indians’ ALDS series and lots of people are probably thinking, “how the hell did that just happen?” Analytics prior to game 1 substantially favored the Red Sox advancing; after all, the Tribe’s eminent rotation was badly crippled with Carlos Carrasco done with a broken hand, Danny Salazar out indefinitely, and ace Corey Kluber just coming off a quad injury. The pitchers that the Sox expected to see–Bauer, Tomlin and Clevinger–were inexperienced and had struggled throughout many points in the season.
So, what did go wrong then? Simply put, Red Sox Nation–players, coaches, and fans–looked right past Cleveland. I don’t know if you heard the latest podcast, but when speaking about the upcoming game, I paraphrased a quote that a prevalent Sox journalist gave to me when I asked him about the series. His only worry was that the Sunday Red Sox game didn’t conflict with Brady’s return to the Patriots. The widespread idea was the Sox had the series in the bag. I mean, Porcello and Price were having great endings to the regular season. Why bet against a streak, right?
Many people left some factors out. In a “Keys to the Series” article, Spin pointed out the most important one: the Indians’ bullpen. After the unexpected success of Trevor Bauer, Cleveland pitchers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen came in and successfully kept the Sox’s bats cold. The Sox’s pitching performances were disappointing; Porcello failed to reach 5 innings, and during game 2, David Price–with a past of struggling in the postseason–struggled. Big time. He couldn’t even get through 4 innings. 30 million dollars per year is an abhorrent sum of money for him to make. . . but that conversation I’ll save for later.
After the Sox lost game 1, we were all a bit disappointed in Porcello, but we still had a comfortable two games to lose before elimination. Then Corey Kluber steps up to the bump and pitches a gem while Price throws trash. There was never a point for the Red Sox to build any momentum. By the time game 3 began, our season was in confirmed to be in the hands of Clay Buchholz. What a great pitcher to depend on.
Besides the unfortunate case of Corey Kluber pitching like traditional Corey Kluber, there is one other point cause I’d like you all to consider. That is team management. If you’ve been on the site at all or listened to a GTD podcast before, then I probably don’t need to explain my feelings
on the subject of Red Sox Manager John Farrell. He’s the worst. And of course, (no bias here) our old friend Terry Francona, flying into the ALDS, with yes, an 8-0 World Series record, was well prepared for Boston. The Cleveland Indians–with guys like Brandon Guyer and Coco Crisp unexpectedly coming up big at some moments–were the more driven team.
Although I was not surprised Boston lost game 3, like most others watching, I was sad to see David Ortiz play for the last time. Since he definitely read this article, I’d like to say thanks for the great Red Sox memories. We already miss you Papi. The 2016 Sox had a great run, but they undoubtedly have some edges to refine this offseason. As for remainder of this postseason, I’d like to see a Cleveland and Chicago World Series duel. It would be interesting to see both cursed teams find a way to lose.