2016 American League Division Series 2
|2016 American League Division Series|
94 - 67 in the AL
|3 - 0
|Boston Red Sox|
93 - 69 in the AL
|1||Boston Red Sox 4 Cleveland Indians 5||October 6||Rick Porcello (0-1) Trevor Bauer (0-0)||8:08 pm|
|2||Boston Red Sox 0 Cleveland Indians 6||October 7||David Price (0-1) Corey Kluber (1-0)||4:38 pm|
|3||Cleveland Indians 4 Boston Red Sox 3||October 10||Clay Buchholz (0-1) Josh Tomlin (1-0)||6:08 pm|
Game 1 @ Progressive Field
|WP: Andrew Miller (1-0); LP: Rick Porcello (0-1); SV: Cody Allen (1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Andrew Benintendi (1), Sandy Leon (1), Brock Holt (1); CLE - Roberto Perez (1), Jason Kipnis (1), Francisco Lindor (1)|
- Attendance: 37,763
Game 1 turned out to be a battle of solo homers at Progressive Field, with six being hit on the night, three by each team, but the Indians prevailed in the final score, 5-4. With his starting rotation depleted with injuries, manager Terry Francona pegged erratic right-hander Trevor Bauer for the start, not knowing whether he would be dominant or awful. He was in trouble from the outset, as Dustin Pedroia led off the game with a double and Brock Holt followed with a single, putting runners on the corners with no one out. Bauer then almost pulled off an escape worthy of Harry Houdini as he struck out Mookie Betts and got David Ortiz to pop up near first base. However, the next batter, Hanley Ramirez, the Sox's hottest hitter down the stretch, ripped his first pitch on a line drive to deep center. Pedroia scored easily, but a pair of beautiful relays from CF Tyler Naquin to SS Francisco Lindor to C Roberto Perez made for a close play at the plate. The diving Holt was originally called safe by home plate umpire Brian Knight, but the Indians appealed and the call was reversed. It would turn out to be a key turning point of the game.
Having escaped a big inning in the 1st, the Indians managed to tie the score in the 2nd when Jose Ramirez led off with a double and Lonnie Chisenhall drove him in with a single. The Red Sox re-took the lead in the top of the 3rd when rookie Andrew Benintendi led off the frame with a homer to right. Then came the 3rd inning; the 22-game-winner Rick Porcello who had been masterful all season, suddenly looked like the inefficient pitcher he had been in 2015: Roberto Perez, not known at all for his bat, surprised him with a homer to right to lead off the inning, then after one out, Jason Kipnis hit one deep to right center, hitting one of the human hot dog mascots lounging in the bleachers. The Indians were not done as the next batter, Francisco Lindor, also drove a ball to deep right for the third solo homer of the inning, giving Cleveland a 4-2 lead. In the 5th, th Red Sox hit the fifth solo homer of the game, this one by Sandy Leon to lead off the inning. Bauer then retired the next two batters, and Indians manager Terry Francona made a daring move.
Knowing he was short of reliable starters and that he would need to use Bauer again on short rest in Game 4, if such a game was required, Francona decided to pull him with two outs in the 5th while his pitch count was still low. His reasoning was that while he had few starters, his bullpen was well-stocked and he had the luxury of having two closer-level relievers in Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and a few others to complement them. So he turned the game to his bullpen early, calling upon Miller much earlier than anyone had anticipated. Thrust into an unfamiliar situation, Miller did not find his groove immediately, allowing a double to Holt and a walk to Betts, but he then struck out Ortiz swinging to end the inning. Miller followed with a perfect 6th inning and then retired the first two batters he faced in the 7th, before leaving way for Bryan Shaw. Francona's gamble had paid off big time. Meanwhile, the Indians added an insurance run, which would turn out to be very important, in the bottom of the 5th. Perez proved a pest again, leading off the inning with a single, then catching the Boston defence napping as he advanced to second on a fly ball to Benintendi in left field hit by Carlos Santana. When Kipnis followed with a single, he was off with the crack of the bat and scored the type of run usually associated with a speed merchant, not a lumbering catcher known for his defence. The Indians almost added another run when Lindor hit a double to the left field corner with two outs; Kipnis scored easily from first, but he was sent back to third base as the left field umpire, crew chief Bill Miller, correctly ruled that the hit had bounced out of play, resulting in an automatic double.
Porcello also did not make it to the end of the 5th inning, as he was replaced with two outs by Drew Pomeranz, who allowed Lindor's double; however, he struck out Chisenhall to strand two men in scoring position, and the Indians had failed to break the game open. Pomeranz then struck out the side in the 6th and ceded the ball to Joe Kelly with two outs in the 7th, having kept his team in the game. Holt reduced the Indians' lead to 5-4 by homering off Shaw to lead off the 8th, then after one out, Francona turned to his other closer, Cody Allen. Ortiz greeted him with a double on which he slid into second barely ahead of the tag, then was replaced by pinch-runner Marco Hernandez. But Allen got Hanley Ramirez to ground out and struck out Xander Bogaerts to end the inning. He then returned for the 9th and got Jackie Bradley and Leon to strike out before Beninteni singled to right. Allen ended the inning by striking out Pedroia, though, saving his team's 5-4 win. Overall, Cleveland' four pitchers combined for 14 Ks, against only one walk; Boston did almost as well, with 12 Ks and only one walk in 8 innings.
Game 2 @ Progressive Field
|WP: Corey Kluber (1-0); LP: David Price (0-1)|
|Home Runs: CLE - Lonnie Chisenhall (1)|
- Attendance: 37,842
Ever since he had first come up to the big leagues in 2008 after having been the first overall pick of the 2007 amateur draft, David Price had been one of the top pitchers in the game during the regular season. He had also been a key member of the Tampa Bay Rays' pitching staff when they reached the World Series in his first season, in spite of his lack of professional experience, but since then, his postseason performances had been extremely disappointing, no matter which uniform he had worn. The Red Sox were counting on him to reverse that worrisome trend in Game 2, but, alas, his postseason woes only got deeper. Matched up against Corey Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner, Price was simply blown out of the water.
The Indians' onslaught began in the bottom of the 2nd as Carlos Santana, moved from the lead-off spot to 5th in the order, hit a single. Jose Ramirez followed with an infield single, then Brandon Guyer, starting in left, hit a single to center to open the score. Next up was Lonnie Chisenhall, and he dealt a killer blow with a line drive homer to right that made the score 4-0. A visibly shaken Price then walked Roberto Perez before getting the last two outs of the inning. In the 3rd, Mike Napoli hit a one-out single, then one out later picked Price's pocket by stealing second base. He was stranded, but it was obvious that things were not right for Boston's tall lefthander. The Red Sox got their first two baserunners of the game in the top of the 4th, both on walks, but were not able to cash them in, then Cleveland ended Price's afternoon when Guyer led off the bottom of the inning with a single and, after Chisenhall made an out, Perez drew another walk. Matt Barnes came in to pitch, but he allowed a single to Jason Kipnis with two outs that made the score 5-0, all five runs being charged to Price in only 3 1/3 innings.
With Kluber having an excellent day, the rest of the game was academic. The Sox got the first on only three hits on the day when Xander Bogaerts led off the 5th with a single, but he could not advance any further. In the 6th, Guyer once again led off with a single, prompting John Farrell to call on lefthander Robbie Ross, who struck out Chisenhall. He then replaced Ross with righty Brad Ziegler to face Perez, but his ground ball to Dustin Pedroia at second resulted in an error, putting runners on the corners. Rajai Davis followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0. Kluber finally showed some signs of vulnerability in the 8th when he walked Sandy Leon then hit Jackie Bradley with a pitch to start the inning. Terry Francona replaced him with Dan Otero who retired the next three batters without Boston being able to score. With a solid lead in the 9th, Francona did not feel it necessary to use his top two bullpen artists, Andrew Miller or Cody Allen, and it was Bryan Shaw who was asked to finish things up. He dispatched the Red Sox in order and Cleveland had taken a commanding two games to none lead in the series.
Game 3 @ Fenway Park
|WP: Josh Tomlin (1-0); LP: Clay Buchholz (0-1); SV: Cody Allen (2)|
|Home Runs: CLE - Coco Crisp (1)|
- Attendance: 39,530
The series moved to Fenway Park for Game 3, but the contest was pushed back by a day because of poor weather in Boston. The game had a special significance for Boston fans, as there was a good chance it could be the last game in the illustrious career of David Ortiz, given his announcement that he would retire after the season. On the mound, Boston was sending Clay Buchholz, a former ace who had fallen on tougher times, lost his starting job for a while, and would not necessarily have been the prime candidate to start such an important ball game had All-Star knuckleballer Steven Wright been available. For Cleveland, injuries to two top starters, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, had also resulted in a less than optimal choice to start the game in Josh Tomlin; at least Tomlin had had a couple of good months in July and September, but wrapped around an awful one in August. Neither manager went into the contest totally reassured.
On the first pitch of the game, Carlos Santana hit a high pop-up that semed headed for foul territory, but the wind blew it back fair, and SS Xander Bogaerts, who was the only player anywhere in the vicinity because of a defensive shift, saw it land to his left, and then bounce back into him for a freakish hit. It was not an auspicious beginning for Boston, and things got even more tight when Francisco Lindor followed with a clean hit after one out; however, Buchholz retired the next two batters and there was no damage. The Indians drew first blood in the 4th when Jose Ramirez opened with a single and Lonnie Chisenhall drew a walk. One of the reasons the Indians had won the AL Central title was that they played excellent fundamental baseball all season, and this was no exception: Coco Crisp dropped a very good bunt to move the two runners along, then Tyler Naquin hit a line drive to right and both runners scored for a 2-0 lead.
Red Sox manager John Farrell replaced Buchholz with Drew Pomeranz in the 5th and got a perfect inning out of him, then in the bottom of the frame, Bogaerts hit a one-out single and Andrew Benintendi followed with a double to close the lead to 2-1. In the 6th, though, Pomeranz ran into trouble. He gave up a lead-off walk to Ramirez, who moved to second on another sacrifice bunt, this one by Chisenhall. Ramirez was very active at second, drawing attention from Pomeranz, who neglected the hitter he was facing. Coco Crisp got under a pitch and lifted it into the Green Monster seats for a two-run homer, and it was now 4-1 for the Indians. That was it for Pomeranz, who gave way to Joe Kelly. To their credit, the Sox's relievers, starting with Kelly, were very efficient, preventing Cleveland from adding any runs to its lead, making for a close finish. For their part, Boston's batters did not want to go down meekly. Starting a 6th inning of work and having already given his boss more than he expected, Tomlin was on a very short leash, and as soon as he allowed a lead-off single to Dustin Pedroia, he was removed in favor of Andrew Miller. After one out, Mookie Betts lined a drive off the Green Monster, and what would have been a two-run homer in many ballparks ended up putting runners on second and third. Boston cashed in one of theose on a sacrifice fly by Ortiz, but was still two runs down.
Bryan Shaw came in to pitch the 8th and he gave up a one-out single to pinch-hitter Travis Shaw, who was forced out by Betts. Terry Francona called on closer Cody Allen to face Ortiz, but Big Papi drew a four-pitch walk in what would turn out to be the final plate appearance of his career. Hanley Ramirez followed with a single, scoring Betts to cut the lead to 4-3, with Ortiz stopping at second. At that point, he was removed from the game for pinch-runner Marco Hernandez, but Bogaerts hit a sharp line drive directly to 2B Jason Kipnis to end the threat. The Red Sox were down to their final turn at bat. Allen got Chris Young to fly out and Sandy Leon on strikes, but Jackie Bradley, who had gone 0 for 9 with 7 Ks in the series thus far, lined a single to right. Pedroia then drew a walk to put the potential winning run on first base, but on a full count, Shaw popped up to shallow right field to end the game.
- Mike Petriello: "Red Sox-Indians: A position-by-position ALDS look: Red Sox won 4 of 6 matchups between teams this year", mlb.com, October 6, 2016. 
- Manny Randhawa: "Porcello, Bauer set to open ALDS in Cleveland", mlb.com, October 6, 2016. 
|Major League Baseball American League Division Series