Francona: Miller G2 availability limited

Francona: Miller G2 availability limited

CLEVELAND -- If Indians relief ace Andrew Miller ever walks into manager Terry Francona's office, it's not to say he needs a day off. And even after a taxing effort in the World Series opener, Miller wants to remain available as often and for as long as Francona needs him.

Francona knows this about Miller, so he knows it is on him to be cautious with his high-leverage weapon. Prior to Game 2 of the World Series against the Cubs on Wednesday, Francona indicated that Miller would be available out of the bullpen, but only for "an inning, max" after a 46-pitch effort on Tuesday night.

"That was a lot to ask, and you get worried," Francona said on Wednesday. "You worry about guys. He showed up early and he went out and threw today and said he threw the ball really well. That's probably the better indicator. Guys can say they're OK, but the ball came out of his hand like normal."

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

During Cleveland's 6-0 victory over Chicago in Game 1, Miller worked the seventh and eighth innings, which were filled with drama. He fell into and worked out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the seventh, then sidestepped harm after the Cubs put runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth. He ended with three strikeouts, two walks and two hits allowed.

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"I liked our at-bats overall against Miller," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I liked the fact we got him up to 50 pitches, also. So there were a lot of positives with that."

One of those positives was the idea that Miller might not be available for an extended amount of pitches in Game 2.

The 46 pitches were the most Miller has thrown in a postseason game and the most he logged as a reliever since Aug. 4, 2011 (71 pitches in 2 2/3 innings). In the postseason, he has averaged 31.1 pitches per game and 16 pitches per inning, compared with 16 pitches per game and 15 pitches per inning in the regular season. He also established a single-postseason record with seven straight outings of at least 1 1/3 shutout innings.

Miller does not plan on slowing down either.

"It's the World Series," said Miller, who has 24 strikeouts through 13 2/3 shutout innings this October. "I'll be ready. I'm going to take advantage of the staff we have here and all the gadgetry we have in the training room to feel good [for Game 2]. But I'm available. There's no question we're ready to go. The most we can play is six more games, and I'll find a way to be a part of them."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.