Who is Ryan Merritt? Our unlikely hero

Posted at 11:11 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 23:11:44-04

What is it Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista said after Game 4?

"With our experience in our lineup, I'm pretty sure he's going to be shaking in his boots more than we are."

He was talking about pitcher Ryan Merritt. And, MAN, was he wrong. 

Merritt — a Texas native drafted in the 16th round by Cleveland in 2011 — hadn't pitched in a game since his late September start, although he'd gotten some work in this month in the instructional league at the Indians' spring training complex in Arizona.

A day after Toronto averted a sweep, the crowd at the roaring Rogers Centre expected the Blue Jays to roll over the rookie.

The Blue Jays did, too.

But Merritt struck out three batters in the first two innings — all looking — and didn't allow a baserunner until Josh Donaldson's one-out single in the fourth. 

Basically, HE KILLED IT. 

And Bautista was forced to take a different tone.

"He seemed to make the right pitches at the right time," Bautista said. "Hats off to him."

After the game, Cleveland players chanted "boots" in the celebration, urging Merritt to pull cowboy boots from his locker and shake them.

And Indians Twitter did what it does best—trolled.