Now that the Indians have won two games, ESPN is trying to analyze it with the tagline, “How can the Indians be ahead against a team that looked to be invincible?”
Invincible to who? This is a team that nearly collapsed at the end of the season, letting the Yankees reduce a 14 game deficit to a 1 game deficit. The bullpen, which was outstanding in the beginning of the year, was much more vulnerable in the second half. We also saw how impotent the lineup was without Manny Ramirez.
So they go into the division series, they sweep the Angels. The Angels were a completely different team than they should have been, but even so, Ortiz and Ramirez pretty much led that offense through that series. The Angels had a terrible gameplan against Josh Beckett which made him look outstanding. Actually, the same can be said for the whole series: it seemed like the Angels tried to change who they were instead of making the Sox play their game.
The Red Sox get through to the Indians, and to their credit, made Sabathia work. I thought Sabathia was getting squeezed, but he should have been challenging Red Sox hitters more than he did anyway. Game 1 went to the Sox. Game 2 was much the same, but the Indians managed to hold off the assaults of the offense and won it, in the first game where Manny and Ortiz FINALLY looked human. And finally, in Game 3, Westbrook was able to shut them down and cool off the red-hot Ramirez.
So in the end, the Red Sox were NEVER as invulnerable as ESPN would have you believe.