Shelby Miller impressed with his stuff in his first 2017 spring outing, but the box score didn’t read as cleanly with two runs allowed.
Five days later against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, the numbers aligned with the effectiveness in Arizona’s 3-1 win.
Miller threw three innings and struck out the last five batters he faced. He finished with six strikeouts, one hit allowed and 34 thrown strikes out of 44 total pitches. If anything, Miller’s arm was lively.
He routinely surpassed 95 mph on his cutter and fastball. Once, a pitch reached 99 mph.
The only hit on Miller came in the first inning when with one out Albert Almora Jr. reached on an up-the-middle ground ball that was deflected by Miller. Almora Jr. advanced to second base on a wild pitch to the next batter, but Miller induced a fly-out and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
After a clean second, Miller had a slight scare in the third when Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber clubbed a two-out foul ball that looped just inside the foul pole.
Nine of Miller’s pitches topped 97 mph on the day, per MLB’s StatCast, including his final three pitches to Schwarber.
Miller has yet to record a walk in five spring innings.
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