Here are 13 Walk-Off Thoughts after the Indians’ 8-6 loss to the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night.

1. The immediate takeaways of the Indians’ loss is that their lead for the best record in the American League was lowered to one game (the Astros now sit 97-60), and the Twins inched closer to clinching the second wild card spot, which at this point is only a formality. Barring a borderline miracle, the Indians will either begin the postseason against the winner of the Wild Card Game between the Yankees and Twins or against the Boston Red Sox as the No. 2 seed.

2. The takeaways from Tuesday’s game with a longer view in mind, however, involve Mike Clevinger, how the bullpen might be used and Andrew Miller returning to his 2016 form. As the Indians wind down the season, obtaining home-field advantage will be a goal, but it’s not the end-all, be-all objective. There are still decisions to make regarding the pitching staff and postseason roster. This week might serve as an indicator about how things might look in October.

3. Clevinger entered the game out of the bullpen and tossed a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out two. He had been terrific over the last several weeks and was looking to be a solid option as the No. 4 starting pitcher in any playoff series behind Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer. Indians manager Terry Francona announced over the weekend that Clevinger instead would be moving to the bullpen, opening the door for Josh Tomlin or Danny Salazar, if he can become stretched out, to act as the fourth starter.

4. Clevinger has certainly pitched well enough to warrant a spot on the postseason roster regardless of role. His inclusion out of the bullpen has a couple of secondary benefits. The first is that the Indians can afford to have a shorter leash on, say, Bauer or Tomlin knowing that Clevinger can go multiple innings.

5. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway: “I think we feel he can be a really good weapon out of the ‘pen. We can count on him to get righties and lefties out. He can go two innings if we need to. If we have a short start like tonight, he can come in and finish the fourth and pitch the fifth to bridge that gap to our main relievers. We’ll be able to have that fifth weapon that can do some really good work in the middle of the game for us.”

6. Clevinger in the bullpen will also help the Indians to avoid a situation like last October, when injuries led essentially entire pitching staff being worked to the max. The Indians had three healthy starting pitchers, and one of them sliced open his pinkie on a drone. Andrew Miller, Cody Allen and the bullpen were extremely effective but also overused. They were gassed.

7. This October, barring a string of injuries this last week, the Indians can enter the postseason with (at least) four starting pitchers and some additional length in the bullpen, allowing them to use a more streamlined approach to playing matchups and managing games.

8. Callaway: “This is going to take a burden off a bunch of our guys. One thing that we want to be cognizant of is that, at the end of the World Series, everybody was very, very taxed. I think that having Mike Clevinger in the bullpen might ease some of that moving forward. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series. Last year, we had three starters and they were worn out by the end. If we go to four starters, I think that if we have Mike Clevinger in the bullpen, it gives us a better chance to complete our ultimate goal.”

9. The Indians do still have to figure out how and if to use Salazar in the postseason. He’ll be starting Wednesday’s game, but he still isn’t fully stretched out. Clevinger is one reason why Salazar might be able to start a postseason game, though then the question becomes what to do with Tomlin—or, does the club carry all three? Regardless, Clevinger is primed for the bullpen, and he’ll afford the Indians a level of flexibility they didn’t have a year ago.

10. Josh Tomlin: “I think, one, he's done it before and he's used to it. Now, I feel like any of us would do what we're asked to do in those types of situations, but I feel like he can be used in a multiple-inning role to be a really good weapon for Tito, especially in a situation like tonight. If the starter doesn't go very deep into a game and it's still within reach, or it's still a close ballgame or a tie ballgame, then he has the ability to come in and keep it where it's at. He's just turned himself into a really good pitcher and I don't think that limits him to the bullpen or a starter. He goes out there and he competes. He's got unbelievable stuff and he knows how to use it. He can be a multi-inning weapon. A one-inning guy. A batter. He can do whatever Tito asks him to do and he can do it really well.”

11. Miller, meanwhile, appears to be rounding into his dominant 2016 postseason form. He gave up two hits that found their way through the infield but also struck out the side. And, in a better sign, his velocity was up and his slider looked like the weapons-grade breaking ball that has buckled some of the better hitters in the league. You could hear how excited Callaway was in his tone of voice after the game.

12. Callaway: “Tonight was really good. Yeah. The stuff was good. The break on the slider. Obviously the velo was there. He felt really good. You could just see it, the conviction behind the pitches, the way he was using his body. It was really good, very encouraging.”

13. Tuesday night was also a potential snapshot into how the Indians might be able to handle a start in the postseason that doesn’t go well. Tyler Olson (who still hasn’t allowed an earned run) threw 1 1/3 innings to get through the fifth. Clevinger threw the sixth and could have thrown the seventh if needed. Miller threw an inning, which led to Shaw, which would have led to Cody Allen (in a postseason setting) had Shaw kept the lead. He didn’t, but it showed how the Indians can piece games together. That potential to be flexible—again, barring an injury or two—is something Terry Francona didn’t exactly have last October.