Cleveland Indians Advance to World Series
Written by Ian Kreider on October 20, 2016
Cleveland Indians Defeat Blue Jays in Game 5, Advance to World Series
Scribed by: Ian Kreider
photo courtesy of businessinsider.com
The Cleveland Indians scored three runs and shut out the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night, winning the American League Championship Series three-games-to-one and advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1997.
Indians rookie starter Ryan Merritt had an impressive showing in Game 5, where he allowed only two hits in 4.1 innings, after throwing just 11 innings during the regular season.
Manager Terry Francona decided to go to the bullpen after Merritt’s strong start, calling upon Bryan Shaw to replace his starter. Shaw struck out two batters in the fifth, before handing the ball to Andrew Miller. Miller continued his dominance of the Blue Jays, allowing only one hit in 2.2 innings, on his way to winning ALCS MVP. Cody Allen came on in the ninth to face the heart of the Toronto lineup and closed out yet another series.
The offense showed off its heavy sticks on multiple occasions. Mike Napoli got the scoring started early with a double to left center to advance Francisco Lindor to third. Lindor would ultimately score on an error to make it 1-0 Indians in the first inning.
Carlos Santana came up to the plate in the third inning and cranked a solo homer to right, while Coco Crisp’s hot streak continued, as he smacked a solo homerun in the fourth inning to put the Indians up 3-0.
The offense provided the insurance needed for the bullpen to pitch with confidence, as the four pitchers combined to allow six hits in the shutout.
The Indians enter the World Series with a postseason record of 7-1. The team has looked like the best team in the postseason by far, but it remains to be seen if the injury-filled roster can continue to step up against the National League’s finest. They will open the Fall Classic against either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on Oct. 25.