CLEVELAND — Overcoming adversity has been part of the Indians’ pedigree since their surprising run all the way to Game 7 of the World Series last year.
Wednesday night at Progressive Field, the never-say-die Tribe’s postseason dreams were laid to rest.
Losing their third straight game after opening a commanding lead in the American League Division Series, the Indians dropped a 5-2 decision in Game 5 to the Yankees in front of a sellout crowd of 37,802 stunned fans at Progressive Field.
New York got a pair of early home runs from shortstop Didi Gregorius off Cleveland ace Corey Kluber and then hung on against a sagging Indians offense that managed only five hits.
It was a shocking development for the Indians, who entered the postseason as the AL’s top seed and the odds-on-favorite to capture their first World Series title since 1948 after a 102-win regular season that included the longest winning streak (22 games) in AL history.
“It’s disappointing,” manager Terry Francona said. “We felt good about ourselves. We came down the stretch playing very good baseball, and we did some things in this series that I don’t think were characteristic of our team. We made some errors, kicked the ball around a little bit.
“Sometimes you don’t swing the bat. That’s part of it. But we made it harder to win in some cases, especially the last two games.”
It continued a disturbing pattern for the Indians, who have failed to win in 14 of their last 17 chances to close out a postseason series, including six straight dating back to last year’s 3-1 World Series lead on the Cubs.
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