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Legends On Deck

ALCS Game 5: Indians Win AL Pennant; Miller Named MVP

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: The Cleveland Indians celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays with a score of 3 to 0 in game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images).

TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 19: The Cleveland Indians celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays with a score of 3 to 0 in game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images).

The Cleveland Indians are World Series bound!!! With the National League Championship Series still up for grabs, fans now that the Indians have won the American League Pennant and a trip to the World Series for the first time since 1997.

The Indians had a three game series lead but fell to the Blue Jays in Game 4. But, in Wednesday’s Game 5 matchup, the Indians claimed the 3-0 win behind a solid start from rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt.

The twenty-four year old pitched a solid four and one-third innings of shutout baseball allowing just two hits and striking out three hitters.

This appearance was Merritt’s second Major League start, he is now just one of two pitchers in Major League Baseball to start just one game during the regular season and then make their second start in the postseason.

The Tribe got on the board in the top of the first with a RBI double off the bat of Mike Napoli off of Toronto Blue Jays’ starter Marco Estrada to score Francisco Lindor.

Estrada then allowed two solo homeruns, the first by Carlos Santana in the top of the third on a line drive to right field. The second homer was a solo shot by Coco Crisp on a fly ball to right field for the 3-0 score.

Estrada pitched six innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven hitters.

While Cleveland has seemed dominant this entire season both regular and through the playoff run, they have continued to face adversity. With the loss of two starting pitchers and then the freak injury to Trevor Bauer just last week, every player on the roster has stepped up.

One in particular being the 2016 acquisition of All-Star reliever Andrew Miller.

The thirty-one year old hard throwing utility reliever has been completely lights out this offseason especially in the ALCS. In Wednesday’s Game 5 Miller pitched 2.2 innings of relief work, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Miller’s stellar performances earned him the ALCS MVP honors after 7.2 innings of shutout ball, with just three hits allowed, no walks and striking out a dominating 14 strikeouts and earning one save.

While it remains to be seen who the Indians will face in the 2016 World Series. The LA Dodgers currently lead the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in the NLCS.

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen