4. All the Way to Game Seven
In what many consider the greatest run in Indians history, the team in 2016 went 94-67, earning the second seed in the American League and winning the AL Central, setting up a historic run to the World Series.
They stunned Francona’s old team the Red Sox with a sweep, and then in five games took care of the Blue Jays to set up a memorable meeting with the Chicago Cubs in the Fall Classic.
The Tribe won game one at home, lost game two, and then won two games in Wrigley to go up 3-1 and needing one game to win it all.
That’s when things got sticky, as they lost the next two including a deflating game six at home when Josh Tomlin was snake bitten by some poor defense in the first inning by Tyler Naquin, setting up a classic game seven the next night at Progressive Field.
The Cubs didn’t wait long to jump on Corey Kluber, building a 5-1 lead in the 6th inning before the Indians put on a classic rally, led by one of the greatest moments in team history, a two-run blast by Rajai Davis with two outs in the 8th inning to tie the game at six.
After some tense moments in the 9th, the Indians had a chance to win it in the bottom of the inning, but didn’t get it done, and after a bizarre rain delay, the Tribe’s fate was sealed as the Cubs scored two in the 10th and won the game and title 8-7.
Again Francona took home the AL Manager of the Year award despite the heartbreak of losing to the Cubs, and to this day fans still remember how much fun it was watching the team make a run that no one could have predicted to get within two runs of a title.