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.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.