Andrew Miller is one of the most thoughtful, accountable players in the game, so it was entirely in character when he stood at his locker late Sunday night and embraced the role of stand-up guy. Miller towers above a crowd at 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, so that catch-all phrase has special meaning in his case.

He wasn’t far removed from throwing 12 pitches over two innings in Cleveland’s 1-0 loss to the New York Yankees -- more than enough to ride the down elevator from exhilaration to regret. Late-inning relievers are accustomed to walking the razor’s edge, but the challenges and emotional swings of the job are magnified on a grand scale in October.

In the sixth inning of American League Division Series Game 3, Indians manager Terry Francona summoned Miller for his specialty -- cleaning up other people’s messes. Miller obliged, inducing a pop fly from Starlin Castro to end a bases-loaded threat and maintain Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco's pristine box score line.

One inning and three pitches later, Miller faltered. After throwing two sliders to Greg Bird, Miller caught too much of the plate with a fastball. Bird deposited the pitch into the upper deck in right field for a solo homer. The run held up, and New York extended the teams’ best-of-five division series to a Game 4 on Monday night in New York.

Painful as the outing was, Miller owned every bit of it. He replayed the confrontation for reporters and reflected on his decisions and lack of execution for more than 10 minutes.