The Cleveland Indians lost not only their 3-1 lead, but now the World Series.
Tonight’s World Series Game 7 game was one for the ages. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians were in a very intense chess match that had the feeling a resolution would never be reached.
Cleveland certainly left everything on the field. No question about that. Still, that does not alleviate the pain and frustration seeing how close they were to winning it all, but ultimately fell short.
In 10 innings, the Indians ended up losing the game 8-7. This World Series was a historic one and no game was more impactful than tonight’s. Chicago does deserve credit. That said, what should be taken from Game 7 as we wait for next season?
Really An Advantage Playing At Home?
One would think that playing at home puts a team in a better position to win. That certainly is logical, but it did not appear such a belief was always the case in Game 7. Via the coverage on television and what is on social media, Cubs fans certainly seemed to outnumber Indians fans.
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Due to what was posted during the game, many fans were frustrated by how much Chicago fans appeared to overtake Progressive Field. This is not a knock on Cleveland fans at all, but instead it just shows how much the Cubs fans’ presence was evident during the game. The main reason why that is the case is the secondary ticket market.
Cleveland had a 3-1 lead. They lost Game 5 in Chicago, but confidence was high still that Cleveland would take care of business back home. Knowing that did not happen is just shocking. There are no words right now to describe this lack of execution.
Napoli’s Future Now A Bit Murky?
Cleveland first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli was not able to get anything going all World Series. In fact, he really was not the same player this whole postseason.
As a key player to Cleveland’s success up until the postseason, disappointment became evident as Napoli did not play up to expectations. On a regular basis, Cleveland fans assumed, rightly so, that Napoli would get back to his old self and become a difference maker in a game.
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In Game 7, Napoli was hitless in five at-bats with three strikeouts. That simply cannot happen for someone who is relied upon in such a significant game. Coming into tonight’s game, Napoli had a .211 batting average with eight strikeouts, Yet, he appeared to struggle a greater deal beyond the poor average and other related statistics.
Looking ahead, this postseason could prove costly for Napoli. He is set to be a free agent, and given his age and lack of postseason success, Napoli may have to settle on a contract again.
Time will tell, but one thing fans may be and probably should be asking is this: Given Napoli’s recent struggles, would Cleveland had been better off having Napoli not start? He was not the reason the Indians lost today, but he definitely did not help.
Future Is Bright
Cleveland may have lost this year’s World Series, but they should be among the favorites for years to come. The Tribe got to the Fall Classic shorthanded. At full strength, they will be even more of a force.
The Indians’ core is also signed for years to come and they are all pretty young. Sure there will be some changes to the roster, but a team led by a great pitching staff and shortstop Francisco Lindor is very exciting and promising.
Lindor showed this postseason and during the World Series that stardom will be here much sooner than projected. Cleveland’s roster is filled with players who all does a specific role very well. Going forward, those players will need to maintain a similar level of play, but hopefully in the future Cleveland won’t be as limited as they were with their options.
Lindor, pitchers Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller, and second baseman Jason Kipnis, among others are the Indians’ foundation to success. Cleveland will be back to the World Series and it won’t be long between appearances. Over the next number of years, getting to the World Series is very realistic .
Stay confident Tribe fans; Cleveland is in great shape and the organization should keep their heads held high!