D-backs’ Miller gives up five runs in return from Tommy John surgery
It wasn’t his best or worst outing, but Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller had to feel good about just pitching again for his MLB club.
Miller made his first start for the D-backs on Monday against the Miami Marlins more than 13 months after having Tommy John surgery.
He went 3.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits, two walks while striking out five. He threw 85 pitches.
“It was so good to be back,” Miller said. “I felt really good most of the game. I think my command could have been a little bit better, but overall I think the results don’t play out as good as I pitched.”
The 27-year-old righty has had better nights pitching in the majors.
Miller’s fastball command on the outside part of the plate was off for most of the night and of the 22 curveballs he threw, only one was a swinging strike. Of Miller’s 85 pitches, 52 were for strikes. Miller’s fastball, though, was reaching the mid-90s on the radar gun.
“It’s unfortunate it didn’t go the way he wanted … but just getting back on the mound and doing what he did today was really nice for all of us to see,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told Fox Sports Arizona after the game.
He ran into trouble every inning, allowing a walk or hit in each of the four innings.
In the first, Justin Bour hit a solo home run to match Jake Lamb’s in the top-half.
The D-backs added two runs the next inning before Miller would walk JT Riddle and have him advance to second on a wild pitch. Two groundouts and a strikeout had him escape, though, without giving up another run.
In the third, pitcher Dan Strally doubled to start the inning and a single two at-bats later from Brian Anderson moved Strally to third.
Miller struck out Bour for the second out of the inning, nearly escaping the jam before Starlin Castro’s single on a 2-1 curveball made it a 3-2 game. Riddle struck out next, ending the rally there.
But, for the second straight inning, Miller would not escape unharmed after letting runners on.
Miguel Rojas singled to lead off the inning, and after two straight outs made it appear Miller would pitch for a fifth inning, Strally walked on a questionable ball-four call. Derek Dietrich’s single on the next at-bat tied the game at three and ended Miller’s night.
Unfortunately for Miller and the D-backs, Miller’s replacement T.J. McFarland couldn’t stop the bleeding there and had two more runs come across on an Anderson double before the end of the fourth.
The D-backs’ offense would stall out in the remaining innings while Braden Shipley gave up four runs in the eighth inning. Despite two runs in the ninth, the D-backs fell 9-5.
“It’s about getting out of there healthy, it’s about getting back on the bump after being off for 14 months, that alone is a goal reach in itself,” Miller said. “I’m just excited to be back and I’m excited to be a part of the team again.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.