CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller grabbed at the back of his left leg on Wednesday night and Indians fans held their collective breath. They can exhale a little for the time being.In the seventh inning of Cleveland's 4-1 victory over the Cubs, Miller exited his outing after only two pitches due
CLEVELAND -- Andrew Miller grabbed at the back of his left leg on Wednesday night and Indians fans held their collective breath. They can exhale a little for the time being.
In the seventh inning of Cleveland's 4-1 victory over the Cubs, Miller exited his outing after only two pitches due to tightness in his left hamstring. Manager Terry Francona noted that the relief ace would undergo an MRI exam on Thursday morning, and the initial hope is that the injury is not serious.
"We'll know a lot more tomorrow," Francona said on Wednesday night. "I think him not throwing another pitch was really smart on his part."
Miller entered the game with two outs, a runner on first and the Indians holding a 3-1 lead. Immediately following his second pitch to Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo, Miller grimaced and motioned toward the Cleveland bench. Francona and a member of the team's medical staff met the reliever on the mound, then Miller headed for the training room after a brief conversation.
Miller indicated to the Indians that he had a similar issue flare up on him in 2014, when he pitched for the Orioles. In that instance, the hamstring problem surfaced on Sept. 1 and Miller did not appear in a game again for Baltimore until Sept. 6. Francona is hoping a short rest period -- rather than a stint on the disabled list -- is all that is required this time around, too.
"That would really be the hope," Francona said. "Hopefully, that's all it is."
Miller, who had two stints on the disabled list last season due to a right knee injury, has allowed zero runs in 11 appearances, with 17 strikeouts in 10 innings, this season.
Following his departure Wednesday night, left-hander Tyler Olson came out of the bullpen, warmed up on the field and inherited a 2-0 count against Rizzo. Three pitches later, Olson induced an inning-ending flyout to center off Rizzo's bat. The lefty then returned for the eighth and teamed with reliever Nicholas Goody to turn in another scoreless frame. That bridged the gap to closer Cody Allen, who converted his fifth save.
"That's a really underrated job by Olson tonight," Indians starter Trevor Bauer said. "I don't think the casual fans understand how difficult that is, to go from sitting down. Mentally, too. You put Andrew in and then you put Cody in -- that's how it goes. So everyone down there is like, 'OK, they're going to slam the door, and we get to watch.' And all of a sudden, two pitches later, you go from sitting there thinking the night is over to, 'Oh shoot, I've got to go get ready.'
"And you don't get to do your normal routine, you've got to throw in front of people. The adrenaline spike is different. How your body responds and gets loose is different. I think he said that was his first time doing that. Great job by him, and Goody comes in and Cody comes in and does the job. All of us have tremendous confidence in everyone down there in the 'pen."
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 Facebook.