Tha Sports Junkies 101

Believeland Part 2?

Believland Erick Drost/ Via Flickr


Cleveland Indians advance to World Series

If you were to ask the casual baseball fan to name the best players on the Cleveland Indians, it is likely that they could name one.  On Wednesday night the Cleveland Indians decided to stay with that same narrative and pitch a relatively unknown pitcher in game 5 of the ALCS on their quest to Believeland Part 2.

With the Indians coming off their first loss of the Postseason, they would turn to Ryan Merritt to pitch the clinching game against the Toronto Blue Jays.  Prior to game 5 Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista was asked about Merritt facing them in such a crucial game.  His response was:

“He will be shaking in his boots” said Bautista about Ryan Merritt

Nothing could have been further from the truth and the Indians and Merritt made sure the Blue Jays knew it.  Merritt would hold the Blue Jays line-up to 2 hits, 0 runs over 4.1 innings before turning it over to their dominant bullpen to finish the job.

“I know they were counting on me,” Merritt said. “Before the game, they came and told me they had my back, everybody had my back, good or bad. So that takes some pressure off, and I just went out there and pitched and trusted my team.”

Merritt would be replaced by Bryan Shaw who came in and pitched a scoreless inning and picked up the win.  Andrew Miller would then enter the game and continue his amazing relief abilities.  Miller would pitch 2 2/3 innings and shutout the Jays before handing the ball over to Cody Allen in the ninth where he would pick up the save.  After the game Andrew Miller was named ALCS MVP and it was clear he was deserving of the award.  The 6′ 7″ Miller pitched 7 2/3 innings, 3 hits, 0.00 ERA and 14 strikeouts in the series.  Miller also tied the LCS record for relief strikeouts with his 14 (Brad Lidge, Astro’s 2004).

“I feel like I’ve said the word ‘special’ a million times in the last 20 or 30 minutes. But it’s the truth. It’s a blast to be a part of,” Miller said.

Miller is right about this team having something special and that seemed to be the theme of others who were asked about it.

“We always said if we could do it with this group it would be so special because this is as close to a family feel as you can get in a professional setting. So for that part of it, it is beyond feeling good,” Francona said.

So here we stand now and the Cleveland Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time in 19 years.  All they can do now is wait and see who they will play next.  The Dodgers and the Cubs are squared up 2-2 in their best of 7 series and one of them will be joining the Indians in the 2016 World Series.  No matter who they end up facing we know this much to be true.  The City of Cleveland is now looking to complete Believeland Part 2.


World Series Game 1 begins on Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland.