The View From Pluto: 'A Remarkable Spirit and Big Heart' Did It For The Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series for the first time in 19 years. The Indians won their first pennant since 1997, blanking Toronto 3-0 yesterday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.
WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Indians' playoff run has been the most unexpected.
"This Indians team is the most fun, unlikely, unpretentious group I have seen to win and go to a World Series, and I go all the way back to all those teams in the '90's. I had more fun watching these guys than any of those."
A rookie pitcher shines
The Indians got a most unlikely pitching performance from rookie Ryan Merritt, who held the Blue Jays to a pair of hits over 4 1/3 innings and left the game with a 2-0 lead.
"In baseball history, [Merritt] is the second least-experienced pitcher to ever start a postseason game. And he seemed to gain more composure as the game went on (versus) the experienced Toronto hitters. But did they know this kid was going to be able to do that? Of course they didn't. He wasn't even on the roster at the start of the playoffs. He was pitching in Goodyear, Ariz., just to stay in shape."
The MVP of the series is Indians reliever Andrew Miller. The Indians traded with the Yankees for him in July. He didn't allow a run in four appearances, covering 7 2/3 innings. He struck out 14 and didn't walk a batter.
"These guys don't even want to swing the bat against him," Pluto says. "He just annihilated the Blue Jays. He did the same with the Red Sox. He did the same thing at the end of the season when the Indians had to win a bunch of big series. He is the most dominating reliever I have ever seen in an Indians uniform."
Hosting Game 1 of the World Series
The Indians will open the World Series at home next Tuesday night.
"It's the same time the Cavs get their championship rings. It's just remarkable," Pluto says. "A couple of the players actually had T-shirts on that said, 'Cleveland Against Everybody' and it's sort of been that way all year in Cleveland."
"It isn't just the Indians eked out these victories in the playoffs. Right now the Indians have lost just one postseason game. They made just one error. They have been a solid defensive team, a team with timely hitting and pitching and enormous heart.
"Now that may sound like a cliche but the reason they talk about teams having a really iron will, a remarkable sprit, the big heart is simply because now and then the cliches are true, and that goes for this team."