TORONTO -- Andrew Miller started 2016 as part of the New York Yankees organization, but a midseason trade brought him to the Cleveland Indians, where he quickly became a key member of the bullpen and has helped lead the team to their first World Series appearance since 1997.
Miller pitched in six of the Indians’ eight postseason games during the first two rounds and over 11.2 innings of work, he struck out 21 batters and allowed just seven of the 41 hitters faced to reach base, statistics that earned him American League Championship Series MVP honors after a 3-0 clinching win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre Wednesday.
“It's so fun to be a part of this team,” Miller said. “I really enjoyed my time with the Yankees. It's tough when you leave a comfort zone and a place that you like and people that you like, but I knew I was coming to a team that had won a lot and had expectations to win more. I was coming to play for Tito (Terry Francona). I couldn't have dreamt it up any better.
“It's been special. It's been a lot of fun. And it's just -- I feel like I've said the word ‘special’ a million times in the last 20 or 30 minutes, but it's the truth. It's a blast to be a part of. We have one more big step, but we're going to the World Series, and that's what you dream of.”
Although the Indians clinched their second straight postseason series, as well as the A.L. Central Division Championship away from home, Miller is very much looking forward to seeing how Cleveland reacts to a return to the World Series.
“I can't wait to see what it's like in Cleveland, honestly,” Miller said. “I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Obviously, they got a taste of the basketball championship. The crowds for the playoff games at home have been special, as you would expect them to be. I'm looking forward to seeing how they react. It's going to be a lot of fun.
“I think no matter who goes, it's going to be special playing the World Series, but I think Cleveland is really going to react well and we're going to have a great time.”
During the ALCS, Miller was labeled the “Angel of Death” by Toronto media members, and while he laughs at the label, it is his willingness to do whatever is necessary that made him one of the most important members of the team down the stretch of the regular season and thus far in the playoffs.
“It's a team effort every day,” Miller said. “We have a catcher and a defense that are special. It's not just us out there getting outs. All that matters is we won. It doesn't matter how we got there. I would have given up a hundred runs if we won the game.
“At this point of the year, you just find a way. That's all that matters. It's about winning. As I said earlier, I would have given up a hundred runs if we won, 101 to 100. That's all that matters is we're going to the World Series and that's a special experience and I can't wait.”