Shelby Miller, the St. Louis Cardinals 2009 first round draft pick, came through on a night when the Cardinals needed him the most.
Miller tied his career high with 8 strikeouts last night. It was his second game this season with 8 strikeouts, having taken care of the Milwaukee Brewers on April 12th in 7 innings on the mound.
Miller has pitched in four games this season. He has given up two runs in three of those four games but the Cardinals offense has backed him up in each game except for April 17th against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
There was a Joe Kelly sighting last night so if you were about to file a missing persons report, there is no need to do so anymore. Granted Kelly was in the game for all of 3 pitches before being relieved by Trevor Rosenthal.
In pitching the 8th inning, Rosenthal only made two mistakes: allowing a hit and a walk. He had two strikeouts–one of which left Ian Desmond looking to end the ending. John Rooney had some enthusiasm on that call. With runners at second and third, who could blame him.
When it came time for the ninth inning, there was a question of who will close the ballgame. Manager Mike Matheny is going with a closer-by-committee approach. Edward Mujica was sent in for the 9th inning where he picked up his second save of the season.
Until the Cardinals brain trust gets together and figures out what to do about the closer situation, I expect that the closer-by-committee approach will continue for the time being. I still think that Kelly, given his collegiate background at Cal-Riverside is the best for the situation.
Offensively, catcher Yadier Molina had a hit and drove in one of the Cardinals runs. First baseman Allen Craig had two hits and two RBIs. He’s getting his batting average back up there in this first month of the season.
Not surprisingly, Pete Kozma was booed heavily by the Nationals crowd in his first game back to Washington since he extended the Cardinals postseason run last fall.