- From Major League Baseball
The left-hander allowed just two baserunners in an impressive 4 1/3-inning showing, departing with a 3-0 lead in hand as the Tribe went on to win by that score and advance to the World Series.
After the Indians gave him a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first, Merritt delivered a shutdown inning, inducing a pair of ground balls from two of baseball's most feared hitters -- Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson -- before finding his first strikeout victim in Edwin Encarnacion.
Merritt froze two more on third-strike calls in the second, while the third inning saw him throw just five pitches as he continued to put on a pitching clinic, keeping the ball inside while changing speeds -- his fastball topping out at 86 mph -- to befuddle the right-handed-heavy Blue Jays.
Donaldson became Toronto's first baserunner of the day with one out in the fourth, sending a sharp single to center field, but a calm Merritt was unfazed by the threat, even after falling behind in the count, 3-0, to his next batter, Encarnacion.
Merritt, who seemingly exceeded expectations, is the least-experienced starter in LCS history and just the second pitcher in postseason history to start a game with only one prior regular-season start under his belt, joining Matt Moore (2011, Rays).