As I sit here writing this in the late hours of the evening, I can't help but smile as I think about the current set of circumstances that this team is facing. The Cleveland Indians, the same Cleveland Indians that were looked upon as a doormat for the Boston Red Sox just two weeks ago, are on the verge of returning to the World Series for the first time since 1997. The AL pennant could be wrapped up as early as this evening, possibly before Game 3 of the NLCS even begins. One little victory is all that separates Cleveland from the fall classic. There were some (Paul Hoynes, the national media, etc.) who have been pretty faithless throughout this playoff run; to them I would say that I hope that they now realize just how driven this team is to put together something special this October. And now, onto the news!
Indians 4, Blue Jays 2
Trevor Bauer, thanks to some ripped open stitches on his right pinky, lasted just 0.2 innings (21 pitches) against the Toronto Blue Jays in last night's game. In the end, it didn't matter because the Tribe bullpen came in, threw down the gauntlet, and went 8.1 innings of 2-run ball. Dan Otero, Jeff Manship, Zach McAllister, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, and Andrew Miller carved up the Blue Jays to the tune of 8 strikeouts and 1 walk over the course of (basically) a full game. It was a far cry from what Tito & Co. envisioned, but the bullpen arms got the job done. On the offensive side of things, several players who had been struggling at the plate, including Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli, broke out of their mini slumps to put up 4 runs for the Tribe, which ended up being enough to secure their third ALCS victory.
Andrew Miller has been the weapon that Tito has gone to most frequently when calling on his bullpen, and it's because Andrew Miller is amazing. In fact, postseason Andrew Miller makes regular season Andrew Miller look terrible; regular season Andrew Miller is not terrible.
When blood started pouring from Trevor Bauer's right pinky in the first inning, the young pitcher did everything he could to stick it out and put his team in a position to win. Thankfully, his team picked him up, allowing him to tweet in celebration after all was said and done.
Mickey Callaway also says that Danny Salazar will definitely be ready for the World Series if the Indians make it there. #RallyTogether— WaitingForNextYear (@WFNYCLE) October 18, 2016
Championship Series News
Cleveland Indians lead Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 (next game 10/18, 4:00 PM EST)
- The Blue Jays couldn't find an answer for the Tribe bullpen, and their time is running short.
- This is pretty neat:
Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs tied 1-1 (next game 10/18 8:00 PM EST)
- The Dodgers are turning to their young left hander Julio Urias this Wednesday for Game 4 of the NLCS, which will make him the youngest pitcher to ever start a postseason game in MLB history.
- The Cubs, who have been substantial favorites for the World Series since day 1 of the postseason, recognize that they will have a challenge going to LA with a 1-1 record instead of being 2-0.
Top Tribe Tweets from last night:
The Indians just became the first team in MLB history to win a postseason game without having any pitcher record more than five outs.— Jason Lukehart (@JasonLukehart) October 18, 2016