Red Sox can blame early exit on stars’ lackluster performance

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The Red Sox exited the playoffs much sooner than anticipated, suffering a sweep at the hands of the Indians in the ALDS. They lost 5-4 in Game 1 and were shut out 6-0 in Game 2 before suffering a 4-3 loss on Monday evening in Game 3.

There is no one individual player to blame for the early exit. Rather, most of their star players performed much worse than anticipated, particularly compared to their 2016 regular season performances.

Let’s begin with the starting pitching:

And a select look at the offense:

Credit is due to the Indians for figuring out how to dismantle the starting pitching and for keeping the Red Sox offense at bay. But the Sox were certainly expecting much more out of the club — certainly enough to keep them from being swept out of the ALDS.

If there is a silver lining, at least the bullpen pitched well. Matt Barnes gave up an unearned run in Game 2 and Drew Pomeranz gave up two runs on a Coco Crisp homer in Game 3. Over 16 1/3 innings of relief, two earned runs (1.10 ERA) will do.