The ALCS may not have started too well for Trevor Bauer, but the Cleveland pitcher got the last laugh when the Indians eliminated the Blue Jays in Game 5 on Wednesday to advance to the World Series.
Bauer, as you undoubtedly remember, started Game 3 but was forced to leave after only 21 pitches because a gruesome cut on his pinky finger began to spurt blood.
The Indians became aware of the now-infamous drone injury just hours before setting their ALCS roster, giving them enough time to add rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt as an insurance policy. And sure enough, Merritt — he of the 11 innings of major-league experience — got the start in Game 5.
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In an attempt to rattle the 24-year-old prior to the outing, Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista predicted that he was “pretty sure [Merritt’s] going to be shaking in his boots” when he took the mound at a raucous Rogers Centre. Well, Merritt shocked the world by tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings in the Indians' 3-0 win.
That prompted this tweet from Bauer to Bautista, who turned 36 on Wednesday:
The Indians will host Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday against either the Cubs or Dodgers, giving Bauer plenty of time to let his finger heal and stay away from drones.