One of MLB’s star relievers left a game Monday after one batter and one extra pitch. That would be the Cleveland Indians’ Andrew Miller, a MLB all-star in both 2016 and 2017 and the American League Championship Series MVP last year. Miller was on the disabled list with a knee injury earlier in August, but came back to the Indians recently, and was making his second appearance since his return against the Red Sox Monday. It didn’t go well:
Andrew Miller exited tonight's game after one batter faced plus one pitch.
We will provide updates when available.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 22, 2017
Miller threw seven pitches in all. He first walked Mookie Betts on six pitches, including three 90-mile-per-hour fastballs and one that clocked in at 88 mph. He then threw a 92-mph fastball to Andrew Benintendi, and then left the game. Those numbers were well below his season average:
Andrew Miller threw seven pitches, all fastballs. MPH: 90, 90, 88, 90, 91, 91, 92.
His average FB this season? 95 mph. Yeah, he's not right
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) August 22, 2017
After the game, it was confirmed that Miller reaggravated his knee injury:
Updates from Indians:
Miller left with reaggravated right knee patella tendinitis.
Santana left with lower back tightness.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 22, 2017
Yeah, Carlos Santana got hurt too. So none of that is good news for the Indians. But at least they managed to get a 5-4 win in the end, and improve to 69-54. And they have a six-game lead atop the AL Central over the Twins. There will be plenty of worries about Miller going forward, though, and there’s been lots of discussion about potential strain from his mechanics, as in this Pedro Martinez MLB Network segment:
On Andrew Miller and his mechanics pic.twitter.com/k7UIpsk14t
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) August 22, 2017
Many Cleveland fans were already upset about Miller’s injury Monday:
ANDREW MILLER IS HURT
THIS IS A RED ALERT THAT IS BIGGER THAN AN ECLIPSE OR A ROOKIE QB
THIS IS AN ALL HANDS ON DECK NOT A DRILL RED ALERT
— Mark Schwab (@MarkSchwab) August 22, 2017
Andrew Miller walks off field b/c of injury
— Cleveland Cam (@cleveland_cam) August 22, 2017
Whatever limb/appendage Andrew Miller needs, just take mine. I don't need them like he does. Just take anything you need.
— Raeann Johnson (@raeannjohns) August 22, 2017
It’s also notable that Miller pitched a lot last year, especially in the playoffs. He threw 15 and a third innings in eight appearances across the ALCS and World Series, and while he set a new record for postseason strikeouts by a reliever, he had some moments where he looked out of gas. One was this home run in Game Seven of the World Series by Cubs’ backup catcher David Ross:
We’ll see what Miller’s status is going forward, but this quick exit certainly didn’t bode well for him.