1.) The Red Sox pitching staff is just not good enough. Forget going out and signing Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion or any hitter for that matter, the offense is good enough as is. Hanley Ramirez will DH, Travis Shaw will move to first and Yoan Moncada will likely play third. The staff just didn’t get it done and any money spent this offseason needs to be for pitching. David Price was a pretty hefty investment for a guy that didn’t even open the series against Cleveland and then get shelled when he did pitch. Boston needs to go after an arm and a big one at that. Pomeranz was not the move that the organization needed to make to get over the hump.
2.) Clayton Kershaw is establishing himself as one of the best ever before our very eyes. Kershaw’s regular season was flawless per usual despite the injury that held him out for a couple months. He still went 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. The knock on Kershaw has always been that when the playoffs role around he just isn’t the same guy and he quite frankly isn’t that good. In the NLDS, a series where the Dodgers needed to win three games to move on, Kershaw started two games, going 1-0, seeing his team win the other and came on to pick up a save in the third win, Game 5 in Washington, on just a day of rest. His first start in the NLCS was even better, shutting out the Cubs through seven innings and leading his team to a win at Wrigley.
3.) The Indians are the hottest team in baseball right now. They look almost like the Red Sox did in 2013. They certainly aren’t the best team by any stretch of the imagination, buy they’ve come together and are playing as one. Manager Terry Francona has his guys playing loose and playing fun. The team chemistry is on another level. Every guy has each other’s back, they’re smiling and celebrating after every win and they’re 7-1 in the postseason this far. While they may not have the best all-around team, they do have the best bullpen. Andrew Miller has taken on a role where there are no limitations as to when he’ll come on and preserve a lead and Cody Allen has been lights out at the back end. Loose and together is a championship recipe, just ask Johnny Gomes and the 2013 Red Sox.
4.) Toronto has officially seen its window close. The team will watch Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, R.A. Dickey, Brett Cecil and Marco Estrada enter the free-agent market this offseason. Josh Donaldson is set to become a free agent in a couple of years. Signing one or two of them is not out of the question, but a small-market team like Toronto will have a tough time re-signing all of them. The prices that these players demand on top of the fact that the Blue Jays need more pitching will make this offseason a tough one for general manager Ross Atkins. The Blue Jays should surely fall off a little next year and given their loaded lineup this year, it seems the window for a championship may have been slammed shut by Cleveland last week.