The Cleveland Indians swept the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS thanks to contributions from some unlikely sources throughout the series.
Contrary to what one may believe based on the national coverage, the Cleveland Indians are indeed heading to the American League Championship Series after sweeping the Boston Red Sox Monday night.
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Game 2 was a comfortable 6-0 win for the Indians thanks to the dominance of Corey Kluber, but Games 1 and 3 were one-run victories that were won thanks to the contributions of some unlikely heroes.
Andrew Miller and Cody Allen were two of the expected sources of success, but the offense was led by some players who are not often considered major threats on the team.
Roberto Perez was the first player fitting this description, going 2 for 3 in Game 1 with a home run and a key tag-up to put himself in scoring position. His smart base running saw him score the run that would ultimately win the game.
He did not get a hit in the final two games of the series, but he provided the spark in Game 1 to give the Indians the important 1-0 lead in the series. With an injury to Yan Gomes and Jonathan Lucroy deciding he would rather go to Texas and end his season early, Perez’s play has been a pleasant surprise thus far in the postseason.
The next hero, Coco Crisp, was actually a member of the Red Sox in 2007. After an 0-4 performance in Game 1, he had two key contributions in Game 3.
While opinions on bunting vary, his sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning put two runners in scoring position for Tyler Naquin, who drove them in to put the Indians up 2-0. He followed it up with a two-run home run in the sixth, showing his power with a blast over the Green Monster.
With Brandon Guyer sitting on the bench, Terry Francona trusted Crisp and it paid off. With all his career success at Fenway, it was hard to criticize any move made by the former Red Sox manager. And the Indians won, so nothing else matters.
It’s a great day to be an Indians fan, and while we continue to follow this magical playoff run, let’s take a look at the news surrounding the Indians and the rest of the MLB in today’s edition of A.M. Wahoo’s.
When the Blue Jays eliminated the Rangers in the American League Division Series on Sunday night, Toronto president Mark Shapiro sent his Cleveland counterpart and former protégé Chris Antonetti a two-word text: “Your turn.”