When you think of Red Sox rivalries throughout the years, the only ones that really come to mind are the Yankees or any other AL East team for that matter. But there is a new team that the Red Sox always seem to go to war with, and that team is the Cleveland Indians.
It kickstarted in 2016, when Cleveland and the Red Sox met in the ALDS. Talk centered on the Sox because of David Ortiz’s final postseason, but not a ton around the Indians. The Indians definitely deserved more buzz, with a better record in the regular season than the Red Sox did.
Well, the Indians certainly did not disappoint, as they shocked the Red Sox along with baseball, sweeping them in three games. A sour ending to Ortiz’s career, and a disappointing one to say the least. Cleveland, as we all know, ended up losing the World Series in seven games to the Cubs.
Enter 2017, where both teams have big expectations, especially considering the Sox added Sale, and the Indians added Encarnacion. So far, the Red Sox have had some crazy games against the Indians in 2017, and crazy is an understatement.
August 1st, Chris Sale scheduled to take the hill for the Red Sox against the Indians, everyone expecting another dominant start. The Indians had a different idea, tattooing him for seven ER in a very disappointing start. The Red Sox battled back, including a disappointing appearance from the Indians big bullpen guy, Andrew Miller. But the big guy gave up a game-tying double off the monster to Eduardo Nunez.
Enter the 8th inning, the Red Sox holding onto a two-run lead. Newly acquired Addison Reed took the hill for the Sox, and gave up a home run to Carlos Santana to make it a one-run game. In the 9th, shut-down closer Craig Kimbrel came in looking to secure the save. First batter for the Tribe, Francisco Lindor, hits a game tying home run over the Monster, shocking the Fenway faithful. Kimbrel continued to struggle, allowing the go-ahead run. The bottom of the 9th came, and the Indians brought in their all-star closer, Cody Allen.
Mitch Moreland comes up with a runner on first and two outs. He swings at strike three, but the ball skips away allowing him to run to first. After a wild pitch, runners crouch on 2nd and 3rd for the young catcher Christian Vasquez, who blasts a 3-1 fastball deep into the night, dead center. Fenway went crazy, and for good reason.
This is just one example of the great games these two teams have played this season. The Indians great success against Chris Sale and the Red Sox ability to play great against the Indians makes for an epic postseason matchup, and a potential new rivalry for the Sox.