Although the numbers don't show it, Wade Miley had a great first half. Image: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Wade Miley Was My Most Impressive D-Back of the First Half

OK, now that you have either stopped laughing or composed yourself after a fit of anger, I am glad you decided to keep reading. Obviously Wade Miley‘s mark of 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA is less than stellar when compared to the stats of All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick CorbinGerardo Parra sparkled with a terriffic first half as well. Those guys, statistically, certainly have had much more impressive halves than the second-year southpaw of the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, I am looking at what could have happened to Miley, a fate suffered by many players who have had tremendous rookie seasons, particularly pitchers.

For every Dwight Gooden who follows up a Rookie of the Year with a Cy Young Award, there are five like Mark Fidrych, outstanding his first year, injured and ineffective the next and out of baseball five years later. Just a decade ago, Jason Jennings won the National League Rookie of the Year and followed it up in 2003 with a 12-13 record and a 5.11 ERA. Granted, he pitched for the Colorado Rockies  which will skew anyone’s  numbers. J.A.  Haap hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his rookie year in 2009. It is entirely possible that Miley does stumble after the All-Star Break and does end 2013 with the perverbrial “Sophomore Slump.” However, I think the worst is over for Big Wade.

April started off beautifully for Miley as he finished the month with a 2-0 record and a 2.37 ERA in five starts. It was the month of May when things took a dramatic turn for the worst. His record was 1-5 with an unsightly ERA of 7.34. June was rough at times; he allowed 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings on June 5th but managed to get the win. He then pitched a total of 16 2/3 innings over his next three starts allowing seven earned runs on 20 hits.  It would be at this point that Miley’s confidence could have been shot, been sent to the bullpen, or worse – to Class AAA Reno. To the organization’s credit, they kept him in the rotation and their faith has been justified. In his three July starts, the lefty has thrown 23 2/3 innings and allowed only four earned runs and striking out 19. On July 11th, he delivered a big performance for the D-Backs, tossing eight innings of three-run ball to help the team quickly get over their three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wade Miley did not have the best numbers for the first place Snakes. Yet, he did show a tremendous amount of resiliancy and poise for a second-year pitcher in the heat of a pennant race. That is indeed, very impressive.

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