sunny.png
Wednesday December 11th, 2019 9:53AM

Miller stumbles, Indians fall into 2-0 ALDS hole vs Astros

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOUSTON (AP) — Two Octobers after sparking a reliever revolution, Andrew Miller came up empty.

Miller failed to get an out in relief of starter Carlos Carrasco, allowing a go-ahead double to Marwin Gonzalez as the Cleveland Indians lost to Houston 3-1 Saturday and fell into a 2-0 AL Division Series deficit.

"I wasn't good," Miller said. "I wasn't effective."

Miller's ineffectual outing would have been a stunner two years ago, when manager Terry Francona leaned on him for as many as eight outs at a time while Cleveland played all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. It was game-changing when Francona called on Miller as early as the fifth inning that fall, but such aggressive bullpen management has become common around the majors since.

Miller hasn't been the same this year, a season that included three stints on the disabled list.

Cleveland was clinging to a 1-0 lead with two on and one out in the sixth when Francona called on Miller. Gonzalez immediately drove a two-run double to deep right field.

"With a one-run lead, and with Gonzalez coming up the way he had swung the bat against him prior and Andrew's history, I felt really good about it," manager Terry Francona said. "Didn't work out the way we obviously planned."

Miller then walked Carlos Correa, let both runners advance on a wild pitch and intentionally walked Tyler White before Francona came for the ball.

"It's my job to get through that inning. I didn't do it," Miller said. "That's what it boils down to. I got ahead, and then I didn't get a fastball where I wanted to, and everything kind of spiraled from there. Not a good job, poor execution."

Miller had only allowed one previous inherited runner to score in his postseason career, when David Ortiz brought in Dustin Pedroia with a sacrifice fly for Boston during Game 3 of the 2016 AL Division Series. Cleveland won that game 4-3.

The lanky lefty had a 4.24 ERA this season, his highest since a 5.54 mark mostly as a starting pitcher for Boston in 2011. He was sharper down the stretch until getting hit around by the last-place Kansas City in his last regular-season appearance.

"It's frustrating," Miller said. "I don't know about the last couple appearances. Those were a week ago. I felt like I was throwing the ball well coming into this."

Francona's other option in that spot was right-hander Trevor Bauer, an AL Cy Young Award contender as a starter before a line drive broke a bone in his right leg in August.

Francona said he didn't consider bringing in Bauer instead of Miller for Carrasco.

"We wanted Andrew," he said. "That's what we wanted right there."

Bauer looked sharp in three abbreviated outings at the end of the regular season, and Francona had said Bauer could be a Miller-like long-relief option this October.

That hasn't worked out, either. Bauer entered in the seventh inning of the opening 7-2 loss and allowed an RBI single to Bregman, as well as a double to Yuli Gurriel. Bauer then relieved Miller on Saturday and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam before allowing a solo homer to Bregman in the next inning.

Francona is running out of reliable options.

Longtime closer Cody Allen allowed Martin Maldonado's homer in Game 1, and Dan Otero gave up a run in the eighth inning of that game. On Saturday, closer Brad Hand allowed two baserunners before pitching out of the eighth. Only sidearmer Adam Cimber has managed to avoid trouble through two games.

The bullpen was an issue all season, ranking 25th in the majors with a 4.60 ERA. Cleveland still cruised to its third straight AL Central title largely by leaning on its overpowering starting rotation; its relievers accounted for the fewest innings in the majors.

Yet Francona was quick to yank Carrasco, after 77 pitches.

Facing elimination in Game 3 on Monday, the Indians will be hoping for more from Mike Clevinger. Otherwise, this October may be a short one for the 2016 AL champs.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Kavanaugh sworn to high court after rancorous confirmation
Kavanaugh is sworn in as new Supreme Court justice after long, rancorous fight
10:32PM ( 4 minutes ago )
No. 3 Ohio State pulls away to beat pesky Indiana 49-26
Dwayne Haskins Jr. passed for a career-best 455 yards and six touchdowns and No. 3 Ohio State beat Indiana 49-26
9:56PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Washington Post: Turkish officials say Saudi writer killed
The Washington Post is reporting that two officials have told it that Turkey believes a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist who contributes to the Post was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul
9:53PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trickery, defense help No. 22 Florida edge No. 5 LSU 27-19
Lucas Krull grew up idolizing Tim Tebow, a left-handed quarterback big enough to play tight end, and looked a lot like him on a trick play that helped No. 22 Florida beat fifth-ranked LSU 27-19.
9:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
LEADING OFF: Newcomb subs in for Braves, Rockies head home
LEADING OFF: Newcomb subs in for Braves, Rockies head home
9:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Yelich, Brewers head to Coors Field up 2-0 on Rox in NLDS
The Colorado Rockies are hoping a return to Coors Field can wake up their slumbering bats
8:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
LEADING OFF: Springer HR streak, Price not right vs Yankees
LEADING OFF: Springer tries to extend postseason homer streak, Price aims to improve vs Yanks, slumping Rockies and Braves rest up at home
2:55AM ( 19 hours ago )
Sale strong, 'pen shaky as Red Sox beat Yankees 5-4 in ALDS
Chris Sale struck out eight for his first postseason win, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox sweated out their shaky bullpen to hold off the New York Yankees 5-4 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series
1:05AM ( 21 hours ago )
Yanks CF Aaron Hicks leaves ALDS opener with tight hamstring
Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks has left Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Boston Red Sox with tightness in his right hamstring
11:59PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
LEADING OFF: Astros, Indians buck opener trend; Yanks-Sox
LEADING OFF: Astros, Indians buck opener trend; Yankees and Red Sox renew October rivalry
1:47AM ( 1 day ago )
Ryu sharp, Dodgers hit 3 HRs, beat Braves 6-0 in NLDS opener
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven dominant innings, Max Muncy hit an early, three-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 in their NL Division Series opener
1:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Moustakas scores Yelich in 10th, Brewers top Rox in opener
Mike Moustakas scored MVP front-runner Christian Yelich with a two-out single in the 10th inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 to open their NL Division Series
10:45PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Kavanaugh sworn to high court after rancorous confirmation
Kavanaugh is sworn in as new Supreme Court justice after long, rancorous fight
10:32PM ( 4 minutes ago )
No. 3 Ohio State pulls away to beat pesky Indiana 49-26
Dwayne Haskins Jr. passed for a career-best 455 yards and six touchdowns and No. 3 Ohio State beat Indiana 49-26
9:56PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Washington Post: Turkish officials say Saudi writer killed
The Washington Post is reporting that two officials have told it that Turkey believes a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist who contributes to the Post was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul
9:53PM ( 43 minutes ago )
The Latest: Post says Turks think writer slain at consulate
Saudi Arabian officials are denying allegations that a prominent Saudi journalist was killed at the country's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
9:47PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Comeback for the ages: No. 17 Miami stuns FSU, 28-27
No. 17 Miami pulled off its biggest comeback ever against Florida State, rallying from 20 points down to top the Seminoles 28-27
9:45PM ( 51 minutes ago )