CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – With plenty of moving parts headed into the post-season, some consistency would be welcome from some of the less certain aspects of the team. It seems Andrew Miller is hitting that point of consistency.
The big lefty brought big velocity in the first half of his first appearances on consecutive days since July 24th-26th. His seven fastballs sat at 95.3 mph on average, hitting 96.4.
Miller allowed two singles, both on sliders belt-high and down the middle, but neither was hit with an exit velocity over 90 mph.
“I know Andrew gave up a couple hits, but that’s by far the best he’s looked,” Manager Terry Francona said before assuring reporters Miller would pitch again on Wednesday.
Pitching Coach Mickey Callaway noted the physical aspect of Miller’s night as a reassuring facet of the outing.
“The break on the slider. Obviously the velo was there,” Callaway said. “He felt really good. You could just see it, the conviction behind the pitches, the way he was using his body. It was really good, very encouraging.”
Go With The Flow
The decision to make Mike Clevinger available out of the bullpen during the post-season was one that was greeted with some blowback. Clevinger has had a very encouraging first full season, going 11-5 with a 3.88 FIP over 21 starts.
With a bevvy of reliable starters, Francona and Callaway decided that Clevinger – who made his fourth appearance out of the bullpen on Tuesday – would better serve the team with the potential to go multiple innings. That scenario arose Tuesday as starter Josh Tomlin labored through 3 2/3 innings, making for a long night for the bullpen.
Clevinger tossed just the 6th inning before turning the ball over to Miller in the 7th, allowing a Byron Buxton single, but retiring the next three.
In the abbreviated start, Francona admitted that the approach to Monday’s loss from a bullpen standpoint could be the plan in October.
“Could be, yeah,” Francona said. “I thought Clev came out and he fell behind, but you can see the idea behind it. His velocity was real good, he’s got a chance to maybe overpower some guys.”
The 26-year old right-hander has a mid-90s fastball, something necessary for a bullpen arm in this day and age, but it might be that ability to eat innings that will help the most. Especially for Miller.
“This is going to take a burden off a bunch of our guys,” Callaway added. “One thing that we want to be cognizant of is that, at the end of the World Series, everybody was very, very taxed. I think that having Mike Clevinger in the bullpen might ease some of that moving forward.”
EEarning the Money
The days of Twitter trolls talking down on Edwin Encarnacion are over.
The biggest signing in Indians history saw his stock rise even further with his 38th home run for the season coming Tuesday night, along with his 100th and 101st runs batted in.
Encarnacion became the 5th player in Indians history to drive in 100 and walk 100 times in the same season, joining Jim Thome (6x), Travis Hafner (2x), Al Rosen and Andre Thornton.