While the Seattle Mariners were the real headline of Wednesday’s USA-Venezuela match-up in the World Baseball Classic — with two of their starters, Felix Hernandez and Drew Smyly, facing off and their former prospect Adam Jones homering late — the Cleveland Indians got a piece of the limelight as well.
For just the second time this spring, Andrew Miller entered a game and left without giving up a run — which is apparently important to some people.
Miller’s last outing was a total shellacking at the hands of the Dominican Republic when he allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning, including home runs off the bats of Nelson Cruz and Starling Marte.
Wednesday night, facing off against Venezuela, Miller was brought in to face one batter in a crucial situation. Down by two in the seventh inning, with a runner on and two outs, Miller caused Carlos Gonzalez to ground out on four pitches to finish the inning. USA would hold the Venezuelan team to two runs the rest of the game, allowing Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer to homer the team to victory in the eighth inning.
Three of Miller’s four pitches were sliders — none of which looked regular-season ready yet — and his lone fastball hit 93.7 miles per hour. There’s a reason not many top pitchers participate in the World Baseball Classic, though. It’s still warm-up for most of them, including Miller. At least he finally pitched a forgettable outing (in a good way) so maybe we can all tone down the March panic a bit.
But probably not.