CLEVELAND -- Let me preface this by saying that 9-3 loss Tuesday in Game 6 was terrible for the Indians. They wanted to close out this series. Instead, the Cubs put Game 6 to bed early with a three-run first inning and a four-run third inning. This game was not very competitive.

That said, the Indians lost Game 6 in about the best possible way. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. There are bad losses and there are bad losses. This wasn't a heartbreaker or anything like that. In fact, the Indians can actually take some positives out of this game.

Here, let's try it.

Miller and Allen got to rest

Andrew Miller is well-rested for Wednesday's pivotal Game 7. USATSI

This game was just far enough out of reach that Indians manager Terry Francona could justify using his second-tier relievers. He didn't have to use Andrew Miller or Cody Allen (or Bryan Shaw) to keep things close, and now they'll be well rested for Game 7.

"Whatever it takes. Whatever I am capable to give. I'm going to give everything I've got," Miller said about pitching in Game 7. "The off-day was nice. If you do have to get extended tomorrow, I think it'll be nice to have had these days."

Miller has had three days off, and since the season ends Wednesday either way, Francona might be able to push him for three full innings in Game 7. Allen has had two days off. Both guys will be fresh and ready to go in Game 7.

Other relievers got tune-up appearances

It was interesting how Francona used his bullpen in Game 6. Josh Tomlin got knocked out in the third inning, and rather than send a long reliever out there to soak up three or four innings, Francona used his key middle relievers for short outings. Dan Otero faced three batters, Jeff Manship faced three batters, and Zach McAllister faced six.

It almost seemed as though Francona was using the blowout as an opportunity to give those guys tune-up appearances in case they're needed in Game 7, perhaps deep in extra innings. Otero had thrown one inning in the past week. McAllister hadn't pitched since last Wednesday. Same with Manship. Those guys got a chance to shake off a little rust just in case they are needed in Game 7.

Chapman had to pitch

The season was on the line, so Cubs manager Joe Maddon went with closer Aroldis Chapman. USATSI

Cubs manager Joe Maddon went for the kill in Game 6 because he had no other choice. Their season was on the line, so even with a five-run lead, Maddon brought in Aroldis Chapman to get four outs (and potentially seven) two days after asking him to get eight outs. Chapman has thrown 62 pitches in the past three days, which is a rather huge workload for a closer.

The Indians forced Maddon to go to Chapman by putting two men on base in the seventh inning and making the game a little uncomfortable for the Cubs. Even if Chapman is available in Game 7 -- I absolutely expect him to be available, for what it's worth -- he figures to be a little fatigued given his recent workload. The Tribe were able to make sure Chapman didn't get the same kind of rest as Miller and Allen before Game 7.

"I thought the game could have been lost right there if we did not take care of it properly," Cubs skipper Joe Maddon said following Game 6. "It's just the middle of their batting order. There is no other way to look at that and feel good ... I talked to him before the game once again. He was aware of the scenario."

Naquin made a decision for Francona

Before Game 6, Francona admitted he has considered sitting rookie center fielder Tyler Naquin given his postseason struggles. He went into Game 6 hitting .190/.227/.286 with a 52.2 percent strikeout rate in October, then he went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts in Game 6. Naquin also misplayed a routine fly ball into a two-run single in the first inning.

This has been a tough postseason for Naquin on both sides of the ball, and on Tuesday night his play made Francona's decision for him. He has to take Naquin out of the lineup for Game 7. He's too much of a liability in the field and at the plate. The Indians are lucky Naquin's poor play didn't come in Game 7. He played himself out of the lineup before the elimination game.

The Indians have exhausted their cushion. They took a 3-1 series lead and now have to play a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday. For us fans, that's pretty great. Game 7s are fun! For the Indians, it kind of stinks. They didn't want to let the Cubs back into the series. The Game 6 loss was tough, but at least there were some positives that could be taken from it.

"It's Game 7. Anything can happen. We're excited. It's what every kid dreams of, playing Game 7 of the World Series," Francisco Lindor said after Game 6. "This is going to be a good game. We just have to go out there and play the game hard and be ourselves ... Every kid dreams of a Game 7 and I'm glad I'm a part of it."