Terry Francona says he’s been using Andrew Miller too much

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Indians reliever Andrew Miller was one of the big reasons why the team made it all the way to the seventh game of the World Series last season before falling to the Cubs. And the lefty has been just as good this season, excepting a pair of rough outings against the Dodgers last week.

Manager Terry Francona, in fact, takes responsibility for those appearances, admitting, “I think I pitched him too much,” as Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. Referring to one particular outing in which Miller yielded four runs, Francona said, “I was talking about that the other day. You don’t ever see an ERA next to my name, but I should have got a couple of his runs.”

Francona added, “I was bothered by that last week. I shouldn’t have done that. We say it all the time. We want our guys to pitch as much as possible, but not too much. That one outing was too much.”

Francona’s ability to earnestly admit his mistakes is a rare and refreshing quality in a major league manager. Most managers would either deflect or pass the buck.

Miller is still carrying a terrific 1.51 ERA with a 51/8 K/BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings this season. For his last two appearances, Francona brought in Miller for the ninth inning, which is usually taken by closer Cody Allen. Miller earned his first save of the year on Sunday, wrapping up a 5-2 win against the Twins.