The Cleveland Indians Are Headed to the World Series

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Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) celebrates with Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) after scoring a run during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) celebrates with Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) after scoring a run during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Indians are back in the World Series for the first time since 1997 after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won an NBA Championship on June 19, 2016. Four months later, the Cleveland Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997.

Some panicked after yesterday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, but this Indians team never faltered. Rookie Ryan Merritt came out with ice in his veins and gave the team 4 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just two hits in that span. So much for shaking in his boots.

That was all that the bullpen needed to finish the game, as Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitched the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and no runs.

The offense was led by Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp, who each had an RBI in the 3-0 victory. All the runs came when Merritt was in the game, continuing the trend of letting the bullpen zap the confidence out of opposing hitters during the latter half of the game.

So after 161 regular season games and eight in the postseason, the Indians need just four more wins to capture the franchise’s first championship since 1948.

It has already been an improbable run, as the Indians have gone 7-1 in the postseason with a makeshift starting rotation and some shaky hitting. But it all goes back to the bullpen, and especially Miller, who is pitching like a demigod in October.

The World Series is set to begin next Tuesday in Cleveland, right across the street from The Q, where the Cavs will be receiving their championship rings. It will be a truly special night in Cleveland, and it is just amazing that the Indians can add to the championship vibes in the city so often associated with sporting failures.

There is a changing narrative in Cleveland, and the Indians can add to it with a World Series victory over either the Los Angeles Dodgers of the Chicago Cubs.

So go out, celebrate and get ready for a great series. And most of all, go Tribe!

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