October 23, 2007
IF YOU'RE NOT A STEINBRENNER, IT WAS A A FINE YEAR:
Why the Indians lost to the Red Sox (Ryan Richards, October 23, 2007, Hardball Times)
Although the Indians got unexpected help from some of their supporting cast, the poor performances from players expected to carry the team, especially Fausto Carmona, Travis Hafner, and Rafael Perez, allowed the Red Sox to first extend and finally win the ALCS. The 2007 campaign should be counted as a success especially given where the Indians were a year ago, but blowing a 3-1 series lead against any team, even one as good as the Red Sox, is a disappointing coda to an otherwise promising season.
A couple of things stood out in the series:
(1) You noticed it most in the respective performances of Beckett and Carmona, but it was illustrated best in Game 7: in a "big game" you want to start a fastball pitcher, not a sinkerballer, because while the former's overthrowing just makes his heater more dominant and provides greater separation from his offspeed stuff, overthrowing the sinker flattens it out.
(2) While Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez are premier hitters, no one else in the Indians' lineup is hard to handle.
(3) This may have been the first 7 game series in any sport where there was near universal recognition that the team that was up 3-1 had its back to the wall.Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2007 12:00 AM