At first it was assumed Andrew Miller would be unavailable for Game 2 of the ALDS Friday, given he’d thrown 40 pitches in two innings in Game 1 on Thursday. But Indians manager Terry Francona says that’s not necessarily the case.
“We're doing what we always do,” Francona said when asked about the state of his bullpen. “The guys will go out at the beginning of batting practice. They'll stretch, have their catch game. We'll take inventory.”
Of course, there's probably gamesmanship in Francona’s comments. But there are a few reasons why Miller would be available.
One, he had four two-inning outings this year.
Two, he took one day off after each of those outings the next day.
Three -- and here’s the kicker -- the team has the scheduled day off Saturday.
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He certainly shouldn’t throw two innings again, but he could be utilized as a lefty specialist in a big situation. Because if Cleveland wins Game 2, Boston is almost certainly done.
“I told both (Miller and closer Cody Allen, who also pitched multiple innings Thursday) that this -- as important as these games are, this isn't the time to fudge,” Francona said. “If they need the day today, that's my responsibility, to be really honest.
“So when I get out of here we'll go down there and kind of keep track of where they are. But, one, if you see them pitch it certainly won't be as much as last night.”
Francona’s knows best when it comes to the playoff plan, but crazier things have happened in the postseason. Just ask Madison Bumgarner.