They don’t have a true superstar, an embarrassment of All-Stars or a celebrity following. That’s the NBA champion Cavaliers, who play next door.
The Indians, though, have depth, chemistry, one of baseball’s best managers and quite possibly the most dominant bullpen weapon in the game.
Andrew Miller has Cleveland two wins from the World Series — and Toronto batters flailing.
Josh Tomlin baffled Blue Jays batters for nearly six innings and Miller, acquired just ahead of the trade deadline for exactly these pressure-packed October moments, blew them away as Cleveland edged Toronto 2-1 on Saturday to take 2-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.
Carlos Santana homered off 20-game winner J.A. Happ, and Francisco Lindorhad an RBI single for the Indians. They won the second straight tense game in this series and have won five straight postseason games for the first time in their 116-year history.
An afterthought in August, Tomlin has emerged as an unlikely October star for the Indians. He allowed one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings for his second win of the postseason — he won the Game 3 Division Series clincher in Boston — before Cleveland manager Terry Francona handed the ball to the magnificent Miller, who is making the Blue Jays look like Little Leaguers.
The lanky left-hander struck out the side in the seventh, two more in the eighth and has 10 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings in the series. He has not allowed a run in 16 career postseason innings.