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Here’s a roundup of what’s going on in the National League Central.
Good morning, baseball fans! It’s official: We have half of our World Series match up. Last night, the Cleveland Indians bested the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0. Andrew Miller, to no one’s surprise, was pristine. The real show stealer was the 24-year old lefty Ryan Merritt, who allowed two hits in 4.1 innings. Boom. The Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948, so no matter who their opponent is, it’s bound to have historical importance.
If you’d like the celebrate along, here’s a 360 view of the champagne goodness:
Enjoy @Indians champagne spray from 360-degree angles. #CLINCHED https://t.co/asdOAnLuIt— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2016
So, how did Cleveland get so far, particularly without their best hitter? One word: prospects.
“It’s worth thinking of the Indians’ pennant in terms of prospects, then. That’s for better and for worse. Sometimes, the story isn’t very remarkable. Francisco Lindor was one of the best prospects in high school, then he was one of the best prospects in the draft, then he was one of the best prospects in the minors, and then he was one of the best players in the majors. Nice and linear. The guy can play baseball. When you get excited about a draft pick, the fantasy career path looks like Lindor’s
It’s rarely like that, though. Take Carlos Carrasco. He was a top-100 prospect when he came over in the Cliff Lee trade, even making the majors late in the season. His debut was a disaster, but Indians fans got the entire winter to remain excited about him.
Carrasco’s next season was fine. Maybe a little underwhelming, most of it spent in the minors, but fine.”
With that being said, what can we take away from Cleveland’s booming success this postseason? Are there points for other teams to make note of?
“It makes sense that postseason success can have that influence around the league. Just eight teams make it into the divisional rounds of the postseason, and are granted the opportunity to play more than one playoff game. And that’s after a 162-game slog of a season helped unequivocally weed out the weaker teams.
Of those eight teams, any can get hot enough to win a World Series. But rarely do teams get as hot as the Cleveland Professional Baseball Team. The Blue Jays just handed Cleveland their first loss of the postseason on Tuesday evening, after winning six consecutive games. Going 6-0, sweeping the division series, and taking a 3-0 lead in the championship series is a feat unto itself. Add the fact that Cleveland hadn’t even trailed since the third inning of the first game against the Red Sox, and you have as dominant a postseason as you can imagine.”
If you’re still scratching your head on who Ryan Merritt is...allow us to educate you.
“The 24 year old lefty was selected 488th overall in the 2011 draft, long past the pomp and circumstance of the first few rounds. Despite Merritt’s low profile in prospect rankings, he’s slowly but surely climbed his way from Rookie ball to the ALCS roster in just six seasons. While that may sound unimpressive on the surface, keep in mind that the number one overall pick in 2013 still hasn’t made his major league debut.”
The Cubs tied up the NLCS last night with a 10-2 blowout against the Dodgers. Anthony Rizzo’s bat had been silent for most of the postseason, garnering a measly .077 batting average. Not tonight. Rizzo knocked in three runs, including a solo shot that traveled 401 feet. Check out that highlight here.
The deeper we get into the postseason, the more managers will lose their jobs. Keep up with that game of chess in one place . Send us a thank you card later.
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Today in baseball: On October 20th, 1990, the Reds complete their four-game World Series sweep over the A's.