|Andrew Miller has re-emerged as another weapon for the Red Sox||08.26.11 at 1:11 am ET|
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Red Sox might have just re-discovered something very valuable as they march toward the final month of the regular season. His name is Andrew Miller.
The lefty starter turned in his second straight standout outing , holding the Rangers scoreless over 6 1/3 innings in the Red Sox’ 6-0 win over Texas Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark.
All of a sudden Miller – who is 6-1 with 4.33 ERA – has put himself back on the Sox’ postseason radar.
“It was fun to watch,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I think the biggest thing he did was he repeated his pitches. We’ve always seen glimpses and he just kept going out and repeating. Man, he threw fastball, breaking ball, changeup. Again, against a lineup that is pretty dangerous, and he really did a good job.”
The praise kept on coming, and with good reason. In two starts after exiting the rotation on July 31 he has allowed just one run on six hits over 11 2/3 innings.
“He’s been great, I’m telling you,” said Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “Just from the last time he started before Kansas City, and then going to the pen a little bit, these two starts for me have been unbelievable. … But his velocity’s back up, he’s got great confidence out there. He’s been excellent.”
“The bigger one was getting out there in Kansas City after the layoff,” Miller said. “I think once I got a little momentum I that game that’s carried over the last 10 innings or whatever. That was big, that was important, going out there and feeling comfortable and building off that last one.”
Miller’s fastball maxed out at 95 mph, an upgrade over the 93 mph he was topping out at through most of July. He also was extremely pitch efficient, throwing 10 in the first, 17 in the second, 13 in third, 10 in the fourth and just seven in the fifth.
Also, 34 of his 49 fastballs were strikes, an impressive 69 percent success ratio.
“It’s a matter of getting comfortable,” explained Saltalamacchia. “For him to be starting, then bullpen, the come back to start, that’s pretty tough to do that. He’s done an incredible job. He’s definitely starting to feel a lot more comfortable, I feel. Throwing strikes, gaining consistency, his breaking ball has been sharper. It’s been great.”
So, what now?
“No, but I’m not even sure what’s next for us,” said Francona when asked if he had identified the next start for Miller. “We’ll see how this weekend goes. He’s not going to be available anyway. We’ll see how everything goes and kind of figure it out again.”
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