Heading into the 2017 season, the Cleveland Indians were hungrier than ever to get back to the postseason and make a deep run that would bring them to the 2017 Fall Classic. After falling to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the city of Cleveland couldn’t wait to get rolling again with a new campaign.
In 2017, the Cleveland Indians had a tremendous and historic run. However, many would argue that their run ended way too soon. That is certainly a fair take. After all, the Cleveland Indians ran away with the AL Central Division and went on a historic 22 game winning streak. They looked absolutely unstoppable for a majority of the 2017 campaign.
Contributions from superstars such as ace Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor, and Jose Ramirez made the 2017 Cleveland Indians such a likable and enjoyable club to watch each and every day. Once the Cleveland Indians punched their ticket to the postseason, it was all hands on deck according to manager Terry Francona.
After winning a thrilling American League Wild Card Game, the New York Yankees were set to face the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series. As soon as anyone could blink, the Cleveland Indians had an absolutely commanding 2-0 ALDS lead over the New York Yankees. Cleveland played those two games in front of their home crowd which certainly helped them out. Game 2 was an instant classic for the Tribe, as they came back from an 8-3 deficit to ultimately win that game.
However, things quickly went south for the Tribe as they traveled to New York. The New York Yankees built all the momentum in the world as they went on to tie the series 2-2 and send the ALDS back to Cleveland for a decisive Game 5. The Cleveland Indians once again turned to their ace Corey Kluber to send his club to the American League Championship Series.
Corey Kluber simply couldn’t do the job, as he gave up 3 ER in just 3.2 IP – not an ideal performance from an ace in a clinching game. Those three runs seemed to be enough for the New York Yankees and their dominant bullpen. However, the Yankees added two more insurance runs in a 9th inning rally, to really put the Cleveland Indians’ season to bed. After a thrilling and dominant ninth inning performance from Aroldis Chapman, the New York Yankees went on and advanced to the ALCS.
So, what went wrong for the Cleveland Indians? It turned out to be a little bit of everything. The Cleveland Indians did not receive clutch performances in either start from Kluber, the offense did not wake up in those pivotal late games, and the bullpen faltered as Greg Bird took LHP Andrew Miller deep in Game 3, which was decided 1-0.
If you were to ask the Cleveland Indians and their fans if their season ended too early, you would receive a “yes” 100% of the time. For a ball club to be American League favorites and an absolutely dominant team, it is certainly a disappointing ending to a great season. There is always next year, however the ending to the 2017 campaign will certainly sting for the city of Cleveland for a long time.
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