If you missed the memo that was sent out about Trevor Bauer becoming the heir apparent to Andrew Miller for the Indians this postseason, it went like this: When there were crucial innings to pitch in the ALDS — several at a time, possibly — it was going to be Bauer’s gig, not Miller’s.
It didn’t go well.
It made sense at the time, though. Bauer was a whirling dervish of outs and whiffs all season, and he has a famously elastic arm. Miller has struggled with injuries all year, from his knee to his hamstring to his shoulder. The former was a good bet; the latter wasn’t the same bullpen workhorse that he had been.
The Indians played it right, in other words, but they didn’t have the same arsenal. They didn’t have their magic reliever, their clothespin-shaped warrior. Andrew Miller faced five batters this postseason, and he retired one of them. Bauer faced 20 batters, and 40 percent of them reached base. It was a fine gambit for a team trying to make do, but it didn’t work.