Cleveland Indians Beat Toronto to Win ALCS and American League Pennant
Leading the American League Championship Series 3-1 but faced with a shortage of starting pitchers, the Cleveland Indians turned to rookie Ryan Merritt, a lefthander with only one major league start and four total appearances, to start Game Six of the series in Toronto. Merritt was up to the challenge, pitching 4 1/3 innings of two hit, shutout ball. Three Cleveland relievers then pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way, while the Indians offense scored three runs lead Cleveland to a 3-0 victory and finish off the Blue Jays to win the ALCS on October 19th.
The bullpen played a key role throughout the series. Andrew Miller, who was acquired from the Yankees at the July 31st trade deadline, was named MVP of the series. Miller appeared in four games, and allowed just three hits and no runs in 7 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and picking up one save.
Although the Cleveland Indians have been in the American League since its founding in 1901, this will be just the sixth time the club has made it to the World Series (1920, 1948, 1954, 1995, and 1997). The Indians won the 1920 and 1948 Series. The World Series will open in Cleveland on October 25th, against either the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs and Dodgers were tied at 2 games apiece in the NLCS with Game 5 on October 20th.