Indians move on to World Series as Rookie Pitcher Merritt Delivers

By administrator1 October 19, 2016 20:51

By Francisco Romero

In sports we love to use this cliché, “Hollywood could not have scripted it better,” indeed it couldn’t for the Cleveland Indians Wednesday as they advance to the Major League Baseball World Series after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 in game 5 of the American League Championship Series (Indians won 4 games to 1, best-out-of-seven).

This is where the Hollywood script comes into place; Indian’s manager Terry Francona opted to start lightly used left-handed pitcher Ryan Merritt against a powerful Blue Jays lineup. Merritt, 24, had only started one game during the season for the Indians while pitching only 11 innings at the major league level.

Merritt left the game after 4.1 innings while only allowing 2 hits and striking out 3; he ended up with a no-decision, but was the key to dominate Toronto’s line up.

The Hollywood script does not end there; Indians’ closer Andrew Miller came in relief to pitch 2.2 innings to hold the Blue Jays. During the ALCS Miller pitched 7.2 inning, did not allow a run and struck out 14 without issuing a walk.

Miller was named the ALCS Most Valuable Player.

As for Merritt, he was just happy to help, “It’s crazy. It’s awesome that I’m here. I’m glad they called me and that they showed that they had trust in me to come out here and give them a chance to win a game, especially at this point in the season. It’s tough for them to pick a guy and trust him to go out there that hasn’t had much experience to go out there and win for them. So it’s an honor, really, just to be able to have that opportunity to go out and try to win,” said Merritt during a postgame interview.

Indians manager Terry Francona was very pleased with the performance, on the mound, he got from his rookie pitcher, “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that watching Ryan Merritt go out and do what he did, the only person that really got in his way was me, and I thought that he had gotten us to a point where the bullpen could take over. But what he did was above and beyond his years,” said Francona after the game.

The Indians will face the winner of the Dodgers and Cubs in the World Series.

By administrator1 October 19, 2016 20:51

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