2. How much longer can Andrew Miller and Cody Allen put up zeroes?
All-time great closer Mariano Rivera blew two games in the 2004 ALCS, almost unheard of given his stellar postseason history. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen have both been historically great in the 2016 ALCS, but relievers are prone to randomness.
Miller has already thrown nine innings in five playoff games, routinely entering in the fifth or sixth inning. Of the 27 outs he has recorded, 20 have been of the strikeout variety. Allen, like Miller has appeared in five games this postseason, and has also put up zeroes. The closer, however, has looked shakier than Miller, allowing seven baserunners in 6.2 innings.
Of the two, Allen seems more likely to break at least once and allow a run. He blew three saves this year and can battle control issues at times. Even the great Rivera, the best postseason closer in baseball history, blew a handful of important games in his career. As the innings and appearances pile up, how much longer can Allen be expected to be perfect?
The Indians bullpen has been masterful in this series and the playoffs, and Miller and Allen will be called upon to pitch the final four innings of any close game from here on out. One slip up, like Rivera’s in 2004 could be the difference in the series.