The last time that Shelby Miller went more than six innings in a start was June 1. In seven of those twelve starts, he failed to make it through six innings. Tonight, Miller broke that streak, allowing only three hits and one run while striking out six in seven innings. He led the Cards to a 6-2 victory over the Braves.
His only mistake was a 1-2 pitch to Freddie Freeman in the first inning that left Busch Stadium.
Earlier in the season, Shelby expressed a desire to go more innings during his starts. He knew that he needed the ability to pitch deep into games in order to be considered an elite starter, and it’s easy to why he thought that was his biggest problem.
As a rookie this season, Miller has posted a 2.90 ERA with 151 strikeouts in 139.2 innings, pitching to a 12-8 record. When he is able to go deep into games, Miller has done very well.
His best start of the season was perhaps the best performance of any Cardinal starter this season. On May 10, Shelby retired 27 consecutive batters after giving up a single to the Rockies’ lead-off man to start the first. He was one mistake away from a perfect game.
Clearly, Miller has the talent necessarily to dominate in the big leagues. Hopefully, his most recent outing is indicative of a new trend. If he has learned how to keep his pitch count down and go deep into games, Clayton Kershaw might not be Adam Wainwright’s only competition for the Cy Young Award next year.