After Game 1 of the World Series – a 6-0 Cleveland win – Indians fans were on top of the world. After Game 2 of the World Series – a 5-1 Cleveland loss – they seem to have sunk to the depths of despair.
Fortunately for the fan base, the players aren’t doing the same.
“Well, naturally, it’s a tale of two different identities,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan reporter Jonathan Peterlin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “The fans last night after the game seemed like the world was coming to an end, but the players definitely didn’t. That’s because this Indians team, they just don’t seem to care who they’re going up against. They recognize that the Cubs on paper are a better team, but if you go into the Boston series, if you go into the Toronto series, they’ve had moments where – even though they swept Boston and went through Boston pretty fast and they had (just) one loss to Toronto – they’ve had moments where they’ve had, seemingly in their mind, their backs against the wall.”
Injuries to their starting pitching. Offensive slumps. Jose Ramirez going hitless in the ALCS.
“They’ve had moments where they’ve realized they needed to be better,” Peterlin said. “Walking around the locker room last night and talking to some of the guys, Mike Napoli stuck out me, in particular. He didn’t seem to care. Jason Kipnis really didn’t seem to care. They all just seem really focused, really ready and really confident in this group that has seemingly been the underdog this whole entire series.”
Josh Tomlin, who is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA in the postseason, will start Game 3 for Cleveland on Friday. Can Tomlin continue to perform well under pressure?
“The Indians better hope so,” Peterlin said. “Josh Tomlin, to me, he’s been one of the better stories of this postseason. A lot of people don’t realize just how bad this Indians offense has been through the first nine games in the postseason. They’ve gotten great production from Francisco Lindor, but Jose Ramirez has been bad. Jason Kipnis has struggled. (So have) Rajai Davis (and) Carlos Santana. The three of those guys are all under a buck-50 for the postseason. A lot of people don’t realize just how bad this Indians offense (has been). . . . They’ll need Tomlin to pitch well and you’re gong to rely on Kluber for Games 4 and 7, (but) they’re going to need to do it on the other side in order to get these other victories. There’s just no other way.”