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123 Mar 30 '19
TORONTO -- For the Cleveland Indians, the script was the same every game -- hope for the best from whoever they started, then count on Andrew Miller and the bullpen to close it out. Air Max 270 Online Shop .That plan seemed especially dicey in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series, with lightly used Ryan Merritt on the mound.But out of nowhere, the rookie delivered.Merritt coolly kept the Indians ahead until reinforcements arrived, and Cleveland earned its first trip to the World Series since 1997 by blanking the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 Wednesday.The 24-year-old lefty defied expectations, shutting down the powerful Blue Jays before exiting in the fifth inning. Thanks to a most unlikely pitching performance, a most unexpected team won the ALCS 4-1.Cleveland, which has never hosted a World Series opener, will play Game 1 at Progressive Field on Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers.Manager Terry Franconas team will try to augment whats already been a scintillating year in Cleveland after LeBron James and the Cavaliers earned the citys first major pro sports championship since 1964.The Indians title drought dates to 1948. In 1997, they let a one-run lead get away in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 and lost to the Florida Marlins in the 11th.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.The Dodgers led the Cubs 2-1 going into Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night. Cleveland didnt play either club this season.Miller, acquired from the New York Yankees in a midseason trade, was selected the ALCS MVP as the Indians took their sixth pennant.I feel like Ive said the word `special a million times in the last 20 or 30 minutes. But its the truth. Its a blast to be a part of, Miller said.With all of 11 major league innings under his belt -- and only one start, on Sept. 30 -- Merritt took the mound and looked just like a seasoned vet . The lefty retired the first 10 batters and allowed a mere two hits before being pulled after 4 1/3 innings.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 got taps on his heart and hat from teammates when he left the mound. Then it was up to Clevelands tireless relievers to hold a three-run lead against the wild-card Blue Jays.Miller again did most of the heavy lifting, going 2 2/3 innings before Cody Allen worked the ninth for a save . Winning pitcher Bryan Shaw tossed an inning before Miller came in.Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered for the Indians.With starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer dealing with injuries, the Indians kept defying the odds.Cleveland overtook defending World Series champion Kansas City and topped a $196 million Detroit team to win the AL Central, then put an abrupt end to Big Papis career, sweeping David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series.The Indians stayed on a roll in the ALCS, shutting down the banging Blue Jays. Cleveland won despite hitting .168 in the series, with slick-fielding shortstop Francisco Lindor leading the way in going 7 for 19.Toronto lost in the ALCS for the second straight year.Im sure there will be some disappointments and grumbling and complaining about how you fell short again, but thats not coming from me, manager John Gibbons said. Because I know what these guys did, and I think its a pretty good accomplishment. The key is we want to take that next step one of these days. Hopefully, its next year.Merritt -- a Texas native drafted in the 16th round by Cleveland in 2011 -- hadnt pitched in a game since his late September start, although hed gotten some work in this month in the instructional league at the Indians spring training complex in Arizona.A day after Toronto averted a sweep, the crowd at the roaring Rogers Centre expected the Blue Jays to roll over the rookie.Maybe the Blue Jays did, too.With our experience in our lineup, Im pretty sure hes going to be shaking in his boots more than we are, Toronto slugger Jose Bautista said after Game 4.After the Blue Jays were eliminated, Bautista took a different tone.He seemed to make the right pitches at the right time, Bautista said. Hats off to him.After the game, Cleveland players chanted boots in the celebration, urging Merritt to pull cowboy boots from his locker and shake them.Merritt struck out three batters in the first two innings -- all looking -- and didnt allow a baserunner until Josh Donaldsons one-out single in the fourth. After Russell Martins bloop single with one out in the fifth, Francona leaned again on a bullpen that soaked up 8 1/3 innings in a Game 3 win Monday.Shaw pitched an inning, and Miller came on with one out in the sixth and a runner on. Donaldson bounced into a double play on Millers first pitch, and the tall lefty made it through the seventh and eighth with little trouble before giving way to Allen.Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the first when Mike Napoli doubled and left fielder Ezequiel Carrera misplayed the ball off the wall for an error. Lindor scored from first on the play.Santana and Crisp added solo shots in the third and fourth off Toronto starter Marco Estrada to put the AL Central champions up 3-0.PRECEDENTMerritt was the second pitcher to start a postseason game with only one previous regular-season start. Matt Moore of Tampa Bay did it in 2011 in Game 1 of the Division Series against Texas. Moore pitched seven scoreless innings that day.CLEVELAND KINJames posted video on his Instagram account of him and the Cavs watching the games final out at a crowded Cleveland sports bar. James, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and others were gathered around a table by the front door, with fans pouring out into the street to watch.TRAINERS ROOMIndians: Francona said before the game that Bauer was supposed to have his lacerated right pinkie looked at by a doctor again. The idea was to see if the right-hander could potentially pitch out of the bullpen at all during this series after being lifted when he was bleeding in the first inning of Game 3.Now the question is whether Bauer can be of any help in the World Series.Obviously, he needs to heal, but he cant just not throw, Francona said.Bauer sliced his pinkie last week repairing one of the drones he enjoys flying as a hobby. During the boozy clubhouse celebration after Game 5, Bauer had his right arm wrapped in protective plastic.UP NEXTIndians: Cleveland returns home and rests up for the World Series.Blue Jays: Toronto faces an uncertain offseason. Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders are in the final year of their contracts.---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister Discount Air Max 270 . Kuznetsov, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been playing for his hometown team Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL. Cheap Air Max 270 .7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. http://www.wholesaleairmax270.com/ . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild and defenseman Matt Dumba have agreed to terms on a two-year, $5.1 million contract.The deal was done Thursday. Dumba, who was a restricted free agent, will make $2.35 million this season and $2.75 million next season.Dumba, 22, was the Wilds first-round draft pick in 2012. He totaled 10 goals, 16 assists, 83 hits and 56 blocked shots in 81 regular-season games inn 2015-16, all career highs. Wholesale Air Max 270. In 152 career NHL games over the past three seasons, Dumba has 19 goals, 25 assists and a plus-9 rating. The right-shot, 6-foot, 193-pound Dumba also chipped in two goals and four assists in 16 playoff games over the past two years. ' ' '
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