July 31st, 2016 proved to be the day the Cleveland Indians officially became a World Series contender.
As the trade deadline madness unfolded, "Believeland" added another piece to a puzzle that is now four games away from being completed in the form of a World Series title.
In exchange for a package of four prospects, the Tribe acquired Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees one day after it was announced that Jonathan Lucroy had declined a proposed trade that would have sent him to Cleveland.
Here in the late stretch of October, it is evident that one of the players made the right choice.
Lucroy now finds himself at home and out of the playoffs, while Miller has landed his pitching prowess in the 2016 MLB World Series.
"I've wanted nothing more than to be a part of one (a world series team)," said Miller. "It's going to be an incredible experience. We get a chance to celebrate for a brief moment, but we'll be focused, we'll be ready to go."
Following a 3-1 Game 5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, Miller was awarded the ALCS MVP after a historic championship series performance: 7.2 IP 3 H 0 R/ER 0 BB 14 K.
"I think the first thing that really struck a chord with me, is when we walked into the clubhouse when we first got him and he's watching videos of the opposing hitters and scouting report," said pitching coach Mickey Callaway. "Man, you've got two pretty good pitches that you could just stick with. But he's totally prepared and that's what allows him to do above and beyond what most people can do."
Standing nearly as tall as hometown favorite LeBron James, Miller logged action in all four of the Indians victories in the series earning one save and three holds along the way. His mid-90's fastball and wipeout slider proved to be a lethal combination against one of the best offenses in the game.
"We wanted a guy that was going to be impactful in the most leveraged situations and that was the guy that we wanted and we ended up getting him," Callaway said. "We gave up a lot to get him and it seems to be worth it."
Although there is no formal award for a Most Valuable Player in the ALDS, Miller was just as dominant opposite the Boston Red Sox hurling four shutout innings with seven punchouts to boot. Only Clayton Kershaw has more strikeouts than Miller this postseason.
"I think Andrew just wants to go until you take him out," said manager Terry Francona. "I don't think he's real big on like, Hey, one more hitter, or something like that, he just wants to keep pitching."
Miller will do just that when the Indians take on either the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers next Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH.
Start times and probable pitchers have yet to be announced.
Fox will have the television coverage and ESPN Radio will provide a radio broadcast for all games.null