Arizona Diamondabcks – Miller continues to seek answers
By Mark Brown
Shelby Miller, right-hander for the Arizona Diamondbacks, searches for wins
LOS ANGELES – During an afternoon radio talk show on Tuesday afternoon, one on-air talent in Los Angeles suggested right-hander Shelby Miller of the Arizona Diamondbacks could be in for a long night.
More to the point, “with Miller pitching, “it’s batting practice for the Dodgers,” the talent said. With the way the game started, this observation was essentially on target. Giving up 10 hits in the opening three innings, along with five runs, Miller essentially suffered the same fate as Zack Greinke the previous night.
Lasting only into the fifth inning, Miller absorbed another loss, and the mystery of his season continues to unravel. Dropping a 5-2 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers before 42,457 in Dodger Stadium, Miller’s bout with misery continued. Now 2-11 and a scorching ERA of 6.89, manager Chip Hale and other decision-makers continue to seek answers which apparently do not exist.
Issues with Miller remain as thick of molasses on pancakes. Whether it’s command of pitches, location or combination therein, maladies follow as a deep, dark shadow. Miller is always at the quick with a personal confidence boost, and his outing Tuesday against the Dodgers was no exception.
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“I thought I made some good pitches,” Miller said. “They were just very aggressive. Thought there were quality pitches, and they turned on everything. Right now, I’m worried about the outcome. I just want to give this team an opportunity to win.”
In allowing 10 hits over the opening three innings, and 11 for the game, Miller appears far from exorcising nasty demons which plagued his Arizona existence.
Still. Miller contends he is on the right track. Perhaps the ball was coming out his hand better, and the pitches were location in his central direction.
At the same time, the Dodgers, as a team, are on fire, and squaring up anything thrown by opposing pitchers. One hitter which Diamondbacks cannot get control is Corey Seager, the shortstop.
With a 2-for4 night, the rookie-of-the-year candidate is hitting .317 in games through Tuesday night. Overall, Seager has tortured the Diamondbacks. In 20 career games against Arizona, Seager is hitting .350 with 12 doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs.
“I thought (Miller) threw some good pitches, but they’re hot right now,” said catcher Welington Castillo in reference the Dodgers’ current state of hitting. “Shelby was making some good ones, but they kept finding the holes. Sure, he’s become frustrated.”
Miller, too, seems at odds with events. He’s won only two games all season. One was against his former teammates, the Braves in early May at Atlanta, and then he beat the Phillies at Citizen Bank Park in late June. As well, he is 0-for-Chase Field this season, and along with lefty Patrick Corbin, they have a combined zero wins at home.
“I’m tired of losing,” Miller lamented. “Looks, it’s not going good right now. It’s been a frustrating year.”
Despite a first inning home run from A. J. Pollock, Miller could not hold the lead. After yielding those 11 hits, five runs, four eared and reaching a pitch count of 90 for his 4.1 innings, Miller departed. After Miller gave up one run each in the first and second, along with three in the third, the bullpen of Ewin Escobar, Randall Delgado, Steve Hathaway and Jake Barrett picked up the Arizona starter with five shutout innings the rest of the way.
Save Pollock’s second bomb of the season, the other Arizona run came across in the fourth inning on a Jake Lamb sacrifice fly.
The series in Dodger Stadium concludes Wednesday night. Look for lefty Robbie Ray (7-12, 4.46 ERA) to start for Arizona and opposed by rookie right-hander Brock Stewart (0-2, 7.94 ERA).
Next: Kyle Jensen gets his chance
The Arizona Diamondbacks then return to Chase Field for a 10-game home stand. The San Francisco Giants are first in for three, followed by the Colorado Rockies for three and the Dodgers for four games.