Bottom line: the fact that Cleveland even pushed it this far is incredible. They lost their best player, Michael Brantley at the beginning of the season. And two of their best starters in September, yet there they were with a chance to win Game 7 of the World Series. It was incredible they got as far as they did….but asking them to win that last game was just too much. They finally gassed out. They just got beat by a better, deeper, more resilient team.
Issue: it would be very easy and very hot take-ish to say, they choked away a 3-1 lead: most Cleveland thing ever!! But that’s not how I see it. Sure, not cashing that 3-1 lead isn’t a good thing. And that will stay with those guys for the rest of their lives, because as good as they are, nothing is promised and they may not make it back. But they have nothing to be ashamed off. They didn’t lose it, the Cubs won it. And they didn’t roll over in Game 7 when a lot of other teams would have. No one gave them any chance against the Red Sox. And then Toronto. And then the Cubs, yet there they were with a chance to steal Game 7. It’s heartbreaking and that one will always hurt, but they have nothing to be ashamed off. It would have been an epic win, but the better team won. And as Terry Francona said, plenty of other teams would have rolled over in Game 7, but his guys didn’t.
Corey Kluber: as great as he is, asking him to beat that lineup three times in one series was just too much to ask. Give those mashers enough time and enough looks at a guy, even that guy, and they’re going to figure him out. And they did. And he wasn’t as sharp. Same thing with Andrew Miller. Both those guys had been unhittable and the Cubs raked off both of them. The Cubs mashers were just too potent and those great Cleveland arms finally just gassed out.