Indians close out Jays, reach World Series

Starting pitcher Ryan Merritt, who was making his second career start in the majors, along with the incredible bullpen shutout the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, to take the series, 4-1.

The Cleveland Indians are the 2016 American League champions and will be playing in their first World Series in almost two decades after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday evening.

One thing, however, is now certain: John Gibbons will be back as Blue Jays manager in 2017, GM Ross Atkins and president Mark Shapiro both confirmed less than an hour after Cleveland ousted the Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS by a 3-0 score at the Rogers Centre.

The only time the Jays out-homered Cleveland, Game 4, they won.

It can be hard to overanalyze a team that came within three wins of the World Series, but in the ALCS against Cleveland, Toronto's offense turned into the meager September version rather than the world beaters who showed up against Texas a week earlier. He had a 1.64 earned-run average with six strikeouts in that limited experience, prompting Blue Jays right-fielder Jose Bautista to predict that Merritt would be "shaking in his boots" facing Toronto's formidable lineup in a packed Rogers Centre. "We need to determine what resources we've got and look to build the best team to build - the team that has the best chance to win the World Series". When the Cleveland-imported team of Shapiro and Atkins formed in Toronto late previous year, many expected them to, eventually, shift gears and install "their guy" at the on-field helm. "They really made their name in Toronto".

Sanchez finished his first full season as a starter with over 200 innings pitched and avoided being sent back to the bullpen even though Toronto's management team started the season believing he should have a cap on his innings. "But it settled down, just trusted myself, stayed within myself, didn't let the - tried not to let the crowd get to me too much, trusted my defence and just be myself out there". The first occurred in the fifth when Russell Martin singled off Merritt with one out and pinch hitter Michael Saunders singled off Shaw. "Because I know what these guys did, and I think it's a pretty good accomplishment".

"No Jose, but we got to keep Edwin though", Kehoe said.

Blue Jays fans, whether they're feeling optimistic or not, will have to wait and see.

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In his previous start against the Cubs in Game 2 , Kershaw threw seven innings and closer Kenley Jansen picked up the final two. It was an unusual comedy of errors for a usually-competent Chicago defense, which added some stress to a pivotal playoff game.

The Indians are headed to the World Series for the first time in 19 years. "The whole team had trouble scoring, it wasn't just Bautista's fault", Campbell said. Similar to his right handed counterpart, Josh Tomlin, Merritt had pinpoint control, a knee buckling curveball, and smart pitch sequencing that saw the first nine Blue Jays go down in order.

"I know they were counting on me", Merritt said.

Toronto lost in the ALCS for the second straight year, following last year's six-game defeat against eventual champion Kansas City.

Which they wrap up when Cody Allen gets Troy Tulowitzki to pop the ball foul for the last out of the game, and that sets off a joyous celebration for the visitors in T-Dot, as the Tribe advance to their first World Series since 1997.

Bautista signed a US$65-million, five-year deal in 2011 and the team picked up a $14-million option for this season.

"World Series here we come!"

Shaw pitched an inning, and Miller came on with one out in the sixth and a runner on.

"I've tried to hold it lightly, but it's hard, in particular because of the relationships", Dickey said.