Tito Francona pulls a rabbit out of his hat!

inger in the first inning and leaves the game. (Photo: John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY S
Trevor Bauer looks at his bleeding fnger in the first inning and leaves the game.
(Photo: John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports)

Last week’s bloody drone injury to Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer’s right pinky put the Indians in a bit of a jam in their starting rotation. So manager Terry Francona did the obvious. He called up 24 year old rookie pitcher Ryan Merritt from the AAA Columbus Clippers to start in a crucial game 5 of the American League Championship Series in front of 50,000 screaming Toronto fans. Just his second start in the major leagues!

Despite looking a bit shell shocked, Merritt proceeded to mow down the Toronto Blue Jay’s best for 4 1/3 innings, putting them in position to unleash their relievers, shut out the Jays and send the Indians to the World Series for the first time since 1997.

Ryan Merritt (Screen shot from mlb.indians.com)
Ryan Merritt
(Screen shot from mlb.indians.com)

Probably the best compliment I heard on Merritt’s performance was from none other than retired Boston ace and 8 time all star turned color commentator Pedro Martinez, who said on air, “I want to start my career over as this guy!”

You just can’t make this stuff up!

The Indians start the World Series next Tuesday with home field advantage against the winner of the NLCS, either the Chicago Cubs or the LA Dodgers.

Here is the coverage on mlb.indians.com.

Go Tribe!

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