A.M. Wahoo’s: Will the Legend of Ryan Merritt Continue?

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Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (17) relieves Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Ryan Merritt (54) during the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (17) relieves Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Ryan Merritt (54) during the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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After he was nearly perfect in the ALCS, the Cleveland Indians may need to turn to rookie Ryan Merritt for a start in the World Series.

The Cleveland Indians lost Game 4 of the ALCS to the Toronto Blue Jays, causing some to panic. But there was no need to do so.

The panic started when Ryan Merritt was announced as the Game 5 starter, as uninformed fans thought his inexperience would lead to a Blue Jays win, keeping the momentum in their corner.

But Terry Francona did not pick Merritt as a starter for no reason. And Merritt proved his value and potential with a fantastic outing in Wednesday’s ALCS-clinching victory. He went 4 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, only allowing two hits while striking out three batters.

His performance allowed the bullpen to do its job, with Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen shutting it down and sending the Indians to the World Series.

The question now arises of whether Merritt will get a start in the World Series. It may depend on how the series is going, but it sure looks like he will get another chance to pitch.

If Trevor Bauer is unable to go in Game 3, then Merritt will surely start that game. If Bauer is indeed healthy, then Merritt could be up for a start in Game 4.

That may depend on if the team is up or down in the series, as a 3-0 deficit could mean Kluber goes in Game 4, with the same being true about a 3-0 lead.

Whether he starts or not, Merritt’s name will go down as a key part of this postseason run. A rookie starting on short notice is hard enough, let alone when he is making his second career MLB start in a game that could send his team to the World Series. But Merritt proved he has the nerves of a robot and did his job to help his team. What a magical season it has been.

While we continue to wait for the World Series to begin, let’s take a look at the news surrounding the Indians and the rest of the MLB in today’s edition of A.M. Wahoo’s.

Cleveland Indians News:

Five Performances that Propelled the Indians to the World Series

"Major League Baseball uses an iconic slogan every year when the postseason rolls around: Heroes are made in October."

Indians’ Acquisitions Prove Pivotal in Playoffs

"From the end of July until the end of August, the Cleveland Indians made three trades that gave them the edge that they needed down the stretch."

Too Early to Judge the Miller Trade, Let’s do it Anyway (Let’s Go Tribe)

"“This was an opportunity to clearly help our team and help us get to the postseason.”"

Indians: What Do You Do Now for Five Days? (Call to the Pen)

"They did it decisively and with style beating the favored Toronto Blue Jays and winning seven of eight in this year’s postseason."

MLB News:

A Blue Jays Obituary: Laying 2016 to Rest (Jays Journal)

"The Toronto Blue Jays’ 2016 season passed on peacefully, surrounded by faithful fans, at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday, October 18, 2016 at the age of 200 days."

Vin Scully Fires Up Fans Before Game 5 (ESPN.com)

"The Dodgers unleashed a motivational ploy before the start of Thursday’s Game 5 in the National League Division Series, unveiling retired broadcaster Vin Scully from the suite level at Dodger Stadium."

Detroit Tigers: Three Potential Ian Kinsler Trades (Motor City Bengals)

"Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler has been one of baseball’s best second baseman since joining the team before the 2014 campaign."

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