It’s a simple game plan–“follow Yadi, trust your defense, and let’s go.”
That’s been the mindset of St. Louis Cardinals starter Shelby Miller, who in his last three starts has a record of 2-0, having allowed just one earned run in 20.1 innings pitched—good for a 0.45 ERA.
“There’s no doubt the command was there,” explained Miller recently on being more effective in the bottom of the strike zone. “Not saying that it was great, but it’s been there more than it has in the past—especially this rough stretch that I had. The big thing is trying to work off of it and remember what you did and take it into the next start and use it.”
Mixing things up, changing eye levels for the batters–it’s not the first time Miller has had success with using the lower part of the strike zone to make his elevated fastball more effective, but it may be his most consistent stretch of doing so. The process or routine of repeating that process has been key to his success.
“Usually when I throw a good pitch in a big situation—like Marte, I threw a sinker down and in, it’s a feel pitch,” outlined Miller. “When you’re going in the next game, you’re trying to build off that and just remember what it felt like throwing it. The biggest thing is having confidence in the pitch and trying to throw a quality strike.”
And that confidence has grown for Miller—in particular with his secondary pitches like the sinker. He looks for his 11th win of the season tonight for the Cardinals.
In his career, Miller is 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 7 career starts against Milwaukee.
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Jon Jay, CF
Matt Holliday, LF
Matt Adams, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Yadier Molina, C
Oscar Taveras, RF
Kolten Wong, 2B
Shelby Miller, P
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports