The Cleveland Indians are headed to the World Series after they culminated their amazing story by using a rookie starter, a lights-out bullpen, just enough power and what is turning into a managing job for the ages to win the AL pennant. On Wednesday, the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 to take the American League Championship Series in five games.

Incredibly, and befitting of their resourcefulness, the Indians were led by rookie Ryan Merritt in Game 5. Who is Ryan Merritt, you might be asking? He is a 24-year-old, junk-balling lefty from McKinney, Texas, who before helping the Indians reach the World Series had thrown a grand total of 11 major league innings. With the Rogers Centre planning to rock, the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista predicted the kid would be shaking in his boots. Merritt, though, looked quite comfortable in his cleats. He retired the first 10 Blue Jays he faced before Josh Donaldson singled. Merritt quickly erased Donaldson by forcing Edwin Encarnacion into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.

With one out in the fifth, Merritt allowed a bloop single to Russell Martin, which set up a big decision for Indians manager Terry Francona. Like every other one that has been put in front of him this postseason, Francona aced it. With the lead and with the Blue Jays having gotten a chance to gauge Merritt, Francona turned to his bullpen. Bryan Shaw handled an inning before he passed the baton to Andrew Miller. Miller, who was named ALCS MVP, took care of the seventh and eighth.

On offense, the Indians had given their pitchers enough of a cushion, with Mike Napoli crushing an RBI double in the first and Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp adding solo shots. Cody Allen handled the final three outs, helping to send the Indians to the World Series next Tuesday.

After 50 years of not having a sports championship to celebrate, the Indians now have the opportunity to bring Cleveland its second of 2016, as the hope to join the Cavaliers, who ended the curse behind Lebron James this past NBA season.

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