After watching their team squander a 3-1 series lead in the Fall Classic – and lose in heartbreaking fashion at home in Game 7 – Indians fans, you might think, sunk to the depths of despair Wednesday night.
They did not.
“Obviously it’s been a rough morning in Cleveland, but it seems people are taking this loss in stride,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan reporter Johnathan Peterlin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It seems like people are moving on.”
The Indians overcame 5-1 and 6-3 deficits to force extra innings in Game 7. Even after falling behind 8-6 in the top of the tenth, the Indians scored in the bottom of the inning and brought the series-winning run to the plate. Michael Martinez, however, grounded out to end the game.
That’s okay, though. Cleveland fans, forever grateful for the Cavs’ 2016 NBA title, can take a loss.
“I think that’s a big majority of it,” Peterlin said of the Cavs’ magical run to a title. “If the Cavs had lost to the Warriors and there had been legitimately no end in sight to this championship drought – and yes, the Cavs will likely play the Warriors once again in the Finals this year – but if there had been that loss and LeBron had lost to Steph Curry and (you thought) maybe LeBron can’t get over that hump and can’t over a super team, I think there’d be a lot more panic. I think people would be wondering, ‘What’s wrong with us once again? Classic Cleveland.’ But I’ve been very impressed in leaving the stadium last night in the way that Cleveland fans seemed to recognize this Cubs team was just a powerhouse.”
And the Indians almost beat them. They led the series 3-1 and had a chance to win in the ninth and tenth innings of Game 7.
“At the end of the day, the Indians just didn’t have enough juice left in the tank,” Peterlin said. “They took the fact that Josh Tomlin outperformed, Trevor Bauer outperformed, guys like Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor really stepped up their game, and of course you got ace pitching out of Corey Kluber the entire postseason. Listen, guys, at the end of the day, the Indians probably should not have been in the World Series, but they were there. And for seven games, they were able to maintain with the Cubs, and for five of those games, they were able to look like the better team. So all things considered, I’ve been impressed with how the fans have taken it. Even though it’s a loss as far as what the box score (says), in the end, I think it’s a total win for Cleveland in general.”