Yikes. That was rough, Cleveland.
The American League's best team in the regular season may have been up two games against the New York Yankees in the Division Series, but they let the lead slip in no uncertain terms. They have looked to be among baseball's very best these last two years, but things need to change after a second straight postseason collapse. With that in mind, let's highlight three keys for the Tribe heading into what's likely to feel like a long, long offseason.
3. Corey Kluber May Win the AL Cy Young, but Game 5 Will Haunt Him
With a 2.25 ERA, three shutouts, and only 51 earned runs, Corey Kluber entered the playoffs as the favorite to win his second AL Cy Young trophy. He picked the absolute wrong time to lose his command. Kluber allowed nine earned runs in just 6.1 innings in the playoffs, including two home runs off of his curveball this series, the same number he allowed over the course of the entire regular season.
2. Their Offseason Acquisitions Did Not Help Much
Hearts were shattered in Toronto when Edwin Encarnacion was let go following the 2016 season. The Indians acquired Edwin to help juice their offense and take them to the promised land they missed out on so agonizingly in last year's World Series, but the 34-year-old was nowhere to be seen in the postseason. He only played three games, posting just nine at bats and zero hits. All that money, no postseason parrot. No bueno.
1. Cleveland Is Still Cursed
I hate to break it to you, Cleveland, but LeBron is an anomaly. You are still cursed.
Last year, the Tribe came within one win of a world championship and couldn't seal the deal. This time around, they were up two games on New York in a series that had them heavily favored. Again, they choked. This marks the 18th time since 1998 that the Indians could have clinched a series and didn't. Something's got to give over in The Land.