TORONTO -- They'll have five full days to string up the bunting at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, preparing Progressive Field and its surrounding area to host Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. Until then, the Indians plan on enjoying every second of their American League Championship Series afterglow.
Sometimes, clinching a postseason series early can be viewed as a negative, forcing a club to wait around before it can advance to the next round. That was not the case as the Indians celebrated their ALCS-clinching 3-0 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday, looking ahead to giving their batteries a much-needed charge as they await the Cubs or Dodgers. It'll be the first time Cleveland starts a World Series at home.
• Gear up for the World Series
"For Andrew Miller and those guys, it does a lot," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "We really like the fact that they get to rest for a little bit. We'll do some sim games to keep everybody where they should be. It's a huge lift for us to go into the World Series."
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Of the 16 teams that had a wait of five or more days after winning an LCS, eight went on to win the World Series, though the 2015 Mets were the fourth straight to lose. The last one to win after such a layoff was the 2008 Phillies.
• World Series Game 1: Tuesday on FOX
As for Game 1 specifically, when a layoff should theoretically cause the most harm if it is in fact a problem: teams beginning the World Series following five-plus days of rest are a combined 7-9 in Game 1. The 2006 Tigers committed three errors after their six-day break in 2006, but that appears to be more the exception than the rule. The other 15 teams combined for just nine errors in Game 1.
Manager Terry Francona had to push his bullpen hard to get past the Blue Jays, including using Miller for 7 2/3 splendid innings that ended with the left-hander bringing home honors as the MVP of the ALCS.
• Bullpen anchor Miller wins ALCS MVP Award
Including the AL Division Series sweep of the Red Sox, Miller has thrown a staggering 172 pitches over the past 12 days. Contrary to popular belief, Miller is not a slider-wielding cyborg, so the very human hurler hopes the layoff will allow him to come back at full strength.
"I think it'll be nice," Miller said. "Our training staff, the way our organization takes care of that kind of stuff, the way they understand recovery and health is going to go a long way. I expect to feel great."
After a full Spring Training, 161 regular-season games (a Sept. 29 rainout at Detroit was never made up) and hard-fought playoff battles with Boston and Toronto, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said that he and the rest of the team's position players can't wait for a little R&R.
"I almost asked Tito for the day off today," Kipnis said. "I was hanging there, my swing wasn't feeling too good. I almost got the day off today. He said, 'Go the first inning, see how you feel.' It's a long season, I'm sure everyone is running on fumes.
"Everyone in the NL is running on fumes, but at this point, you really don't care. You really don't feel too much of the pain because you're having so much fun and it's so exciting to be a part of this that you just go out and play the game."
The five-day wait also will be important as the Indians look to get Trevor Bauer back on the mound after he was forced out of his Game 3 ALCS start in the first inning. The additional time can only help Bauer, who was seen by renowned hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham in Toronto.
Francona has suggested that Bauer could be penciled in for Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 28 or Game 4 on Oct. 29. That would give him 10 or 11 days, respectively, between outings to give the wound more time to heal.
"So he's going to be available at some time in the World Series and that thing's going to be healed by then," Callaway said. "We're going to need him to pitch probably two games. We're excited that he'll be back."
Another starter, Danny Salazar, continues on a throwing program as he attempts to return from a forearm strain. It's unclear whether he will be available, but most likely if Salazar pitches in the World Series, it will be as a reliever.
Five days. Plenty of time to set up in Cleveland. Speaking of which -- when is that Party at Napoli's, anyway?
"I don't know -- I'm not even worried about it yet, you know what I'm saying?" Mike Napoli said. "We're going to enjoy this. This is something special. This is something that doesn't happen often. To be able to get here and do this, we need to enjoy this and when the time comes, we'll worry about it."