The Toronto Blue Jays faced down the threat of elimination at home by winning Game 4 of the ALCS in Toronto against the Indians. In order to keep their chances of a World Series appearance alive, the Jays will have to pull out another win at home Wednesday vs. the Indians.
Game 5 will start on Wednesday at 4:08 p.m. ET and air on TBS in the United States and be simulcast on SportsNet in Canada. Similarly to the rest of the ALCS games, Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, and Cal Ripken Jr. will be commentating, with Sam Ryan reporting from the field.
The Jays’ season rests on the shoulders of righty Marco Estrada. The 33-year-old posted a 3.48 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 176 innings pitched in the regular season. Estrada also started for the Blue Jays in Game 1 of both the ALDS and ALCS and posted impressive stat lines in both outings.
In his ALDS start, Estrada pitched 8 1⁄3 innings, giving up four hits and one run while striking out six in a win. His first ALCS start featured worse luck, as he allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings, but came away shorthanded as the Jays still lost.
The Indians have an opportunity to clinch their first pennant since 1997 with southpaw Ryan Merritt on the hill. Merritt made only four appearances and one start in the big leagues in 2016, only giving up six hits and two runs in 11 major league innings. The 24-year-old went 11-8 with a 3.70 ERA in 143 1⁄3 innings for AAA Columbus but only struck out 5.78 batters per inning.
Merritt’s relative inexperience would allow for the possibility that manager Terry Francona chooses the same route as he did in Game 3 after Trevor Bauer’s injury, wherein six relievers preserved the win for the Indians.
Five of the six relievers used in Game 3 (Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Dan Otero, Zach McAllister, and Bryan Shaw) had a lower FIP than Bauer, with only Jeff Manship holding a hair higher FIP, according to FanGraphs. The Indians’ bullpen may just be good enough to hold a lead or prevent a deficit from growing in the event Merritt is forced from the game early.
How to Watch ALCS Game 5
When: 4:08 p.m. ET
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TV: TBS (SportsNet in Canada)
Streaming: TBS live stream or Postseason.tv
Radio: ESPN Radio