MINNEAPOLIS -- It was an all-too familiar scenario for Andrew Miller -- walking off the mound as the Minnesota Twins celebrated a walk-off win against him.
It had happened Tuesday night, in the bottom of the ninth, when Miller allowed a two-run homer to Chris Parmelee, resulting in an 8-6 loss.
Thursday afternoon, the ball wasn't hit nearly as hard or as far, but the result was the same. Aaron Hicks fisted a single into left, scoring Kurt Suzuki from second base, negating another late-inning comeback by the Sox and cementing a dramatic Minnesota victory.
"Fastball in, tried to jam the guy, jammed in...(the ball) fell in,'' recounted a subdued Miller. "It stinks. I feel good out there, but I blew two games. We lost the series with those two games. Two games in the series with my name attached to them. So, it stinks.''
This wasn't a question of stuff or location, according to Miller, nor was there fatigue.
"I felt good with everything,'' said Miller. "Just didn't make a pitch when I needed to. (I was) 100 percent (committed to the pitch he threw to Hicks). I had 100 percent confidence when I threw it. He hit it off the handle. If he hits it off the barrel a little more, it's probably right at Grady (Sizemore, left fielder).
"Just one of those things.''
"Even though he hasn't been in those (late-inning situations) a lot,'' said John Farrell of Miller, "you still look at the stuff, you still look at the way things unfolded. Two nights ago, Parmelee just runs into a fastball down and in to him. Today, he got beat for the second time in this series, and that's his fastball. I can't say it's because it's because of a lack of (experience) in those settings.''
If Miller had any any regrets, it was that he fell behind Suzuki 2-and-0, putting the catcher in a hitter's count "and had to give him something to hit. I just missed on the two pitches to him, but it still puts to count at 2-and-0, instead of 0-and-2 and 1-and-1. That's the tough part.''
Even when Hicks made contact on the game-winning hit, Miller thought he had done his job well enough.
"Off the bat, I did completely,'' said Miller. "What I saw and what I envisioned was going to happen behind me, I thought it was an out. Which is pretty disappointing. It wasn't a very loud out, crack of the bat or anything. But it didn't (work out).''