The Cleveland Indians completed their ACLS victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, setting up their first World Series appearance in almost 20 years. Meanwhile, after two games without a run, the Chicago Cubs finally figure out a way to get some scoring going, to tie their champions series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at 2-2.
The Indians beat the Blue Jays 3-0 in game 5 to win the ALCS 4-1. It means that the city of Cleveland suddenly becomes one of the best in the nation when it comes to producing winning teams, thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers making two consecutive NBA finals (and winning the 2016 title) and now the Indians doing it for the first time since 1997. The Cleveland Browns? That’s a sad story people prefer to forget about most of the time.
As always, despite the work of Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana and even Coco Crisp, the story was the pitching. The 24-year old Ryan Merritt didn’t seem like someone who has hardly played a major league game, and giving up two hits in 4.1 innings while striking out 3, making way for the once again unhittable bullpen unit. The Indians got 4 innings and 2 outs of their bullpen: First Bryan Shaw with 2 k’s in one inning, closed it with Cody Allen with 2 k’s in the final inning, and in the middle it was Andre Miller, striking out just one in 2.2 innings, but holding on to the lead, and making sure the Indians are only four wins away from winning their first championship since 1948.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, after two games without a run, the Chicago Cubs exploded, which means only one thing: Clayton Kershaw will be back on the mound as soon as possible. The Cubs won 10-2, tying the series at 2-2, with one huge game 5 to be played in Los Angeles before the series heads back to Wrigley Field. Julio Urias gave up four runs in less than four complete innings, but the real problems came in the sixth inning, as the Cubs scored five runs, with 3 RBIs from Anthony Rizzo and a couple from Addison Russell.
The Cubs didn’t try to get too much out of John Lackey, who did give up a couple of runs before Chicago turned to their bullpen. Mike Montgomery had a fantastic couple of innings to stop the Dodgers from scoring, killing off any momentum they could have built up, allowing the Cubs huge sixth inning to decide the game. The Cubs didn’t even turn to Aroldis Chapman, who has lost some of the unhittability air surrounding him before this week.
On a sad note, this leaves us with even less Baseball than before. One series is two or three games away from being over, before the World Series starts. It’s what we follow baseball all season for – the culmination of the 7 months, but it also means the season is coming to an end very soon. Whether it’s the Cubs or Dodgers who face the Indians in the World Series, it’s going to be a championship series with a lot at stake, with teams that haven’t won anything for a very long time.