On July 30th, 2016 if you said it was Miller Time, you were probably inferring that you about to drink some mediocre beer. Now, in mid-to-late October, if you say it’s Miller Time, you’re probably referring to the Indians about to shutdown to opposing lineup by bringing in the best relief pitcher in the game, Andrew Miller.
Can you believe it! The Indians came in to the postseason without their best hitter (Michael Brantley), two of the top starters (Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar), and catcher (Yan Gomes), but here we are just a few days from THE GREATEST DAY IN CLEVELAND SPORTS! Yes, on October 25, 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be raising a championship banner (in case yo forgot, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals), while right next door, Game 1 of the World Series will be taking place.
Normally, I would do like a game-by-game breakdown, looking a each players critical plays, but my excitement is to much. Let’s look at the heroes of the ALCS.
Andrew Miller: What more is there to say. The winner of the ALCS MVP was the glorified grim reaper to opposing hitters. Seven and two/thirds innings, allowing only three base runners, while striking out 14 batters. Can you say unhittable. Also, Clint Frazier who?
Francisco Lindor: We are seeing a superstar being born. All he did was hit .370 in the ALCS, while delivering the knockout blows in Games 1 & 2. It’s also surprising the plays he makes at shortstop due to his glove being made out of gold.
Roberto Perez: Can a catcher call a better series then what we just saw from Perez?
Ryan Merritt: With one start in his MLB career, Tito called on him to close out the mighty Blue Jays. Instead of shaking in his boots, all he did was shut the Jays out for four and a third innings.
The Bullpen: Just based on their Game 3 performance alone, the bullpen deserves a spot on the hero list. Trevor Bauer’s finger looked like something out of a Quentin Tarantino film, which forced the bullpen to pitch eight and a third innings. Somehow, someway they got the win.
Corey Kluber: Klubot is on his way to potentially winning his second Cy Young in three years, and he might be an after thought in this series. Kluber started Games 1 & 4, and despite the Indians falling short in Game 4, Kluber still put up impressive numbers in the series. 11.1 innings, 2 runs allowed, and 13 strikeouts, I’d say that’s ace material.
Josh Tomlin: A lot of people wrote off Tomlin after a terrible month of August, so naturally he comes into the postseason and shuts down two of the best offenses in the game. He wasn’t even supposed to pitch in Game 2, yet he steps up, no questions asked, and limits the Jays to one run.
Coco Crisp: Who saw this one coming? Crisp made his Cleveland return as an August wavier deadline move. There was no situation where Crisp made an actual impact in the playoffs. Yet there he was making diving catches and hitting bombs in the ALCS.
Jose Bautista: Thanks for giving the Indians players so much bulletin board material to use against you guys, circumstances require me to acknowledge you in this article.
Terry Francona: My apologies to Joe Maddon, but Tito is the best manager in the game, exhibit one, the 2016 Indians.
Obviously, there were so many hero’s that helped the Indians get back to World Series, but I can only write so much. Still can’t believe that this team made the World Series. That’s what makes October baseball so great, you never know what can happen. Let the “Year of Cleveland” continue!
— Chris Sladoje (@The_Doje)
Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP