BOSTON -- The Red Sox' postseason was, in the words of noted hardball philosopher Thomas Hobbes, nasty, brutish and short.
So short that if you blinked, you missed it.
Put it this way: if a track announcer had called their cameo in the playoffs, it would have sounded like this: "And they're off... ...and they're done.''
Just like that.
All the goodwill the Red Sox built during a six-month regular season, in which they won a highly competitive division, seemed to dissipate in the span of three games, spread out over five days.
The Indians outplayed them in every conceivable fashion, in every area of the game. They out-hit the Sox, out-pitched them, too. They ran the bases better, played tighter defense and were more solid in their fundamentals.
You name it, and the Indians were better.
The Red Sox didn't have a starter get through the fifth inning. They went better than 14 innings -- from the eighth inning in Game 1 through the fifth inning of Game 3 Monday night -- without scoring.
And in perhaps the best reflection of how thoroughly they were dominated by the Indians, consider this: After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the first game, the Red Sox never again led after a full inning for the entirety of the series.
The swift sweep left the Red Sox somewhat shellshocked in a funereal clubhouse.
"Everybody in baseball knows how hard it is to sweep a three-game series with (the regular) season,'' said Clay Buchholz. "But to do it the postseason? That's something else. But they played better ball than us. They got the hits when they needed to get the hits.''
"Yeah, surprising,'' admitted Dustin Pedroia. "But they're good, too. It's not what we expected to happen, but they played great. They played flawless. There wasn't one part of their game that wasn't great. They were on and that's why they won and they're moving on.''
Perhaps winning home field would have changed the outcome. But that's working under the assumption that Rick Porcello and David Price would have pitched entirely different games in Fenway than they did at Progressive Field.
And would the big hit at the right time, the one that was so elusive from start to finish, have come at Fenway? Maybe.
That's academic for now.
Now, there's only the aftershock of the disappointment.
"There was so much promise going into this postseason,'' said a quiet Travis Shaw, who made the final out with two baserunners on. "We just weren't able to get it done.''
In time, maybe the sting of the playoff flop will recede and the Red Sox can view this season as a stepping stone, a necessary move forward that fell far shy of the intended goal.
But late Monday night, there was only raw disbelief that their visit to the postseason was suddenly done.
"You go along at about 100 miles and hour,'' said John Farrell, "and all of a sudden, the last out is recorded and you hit the wall and it stops abruptly.''
"Nobody in this room can sit back and say that they should have done something different,'' said Pedroia. "We played as hard as we could. They just played better than us.''
In every way imaginable, in a series that seemed to be over almost before it began.