Diamondbacks’ Chip Hale continues putting trust in Shelby Miller

May 18, 2016, 11:49 PM | Updated: May 20, 2016, 11:07 am
Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller (26) pauses on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to ...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller (26) pauses on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to New York Yankees' Brett Gardner, right, during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 18, 2016, in Phoenix. Jacoby Ellsbury, left, scored on the homer. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Shelby Miller won his first game of 2016 two starts ago and became victim to poor hitting and a disappointing end to his evening in his last outing.

It could be safe to say his season is recovering ever so slowly from a nightmare of a start. The D-backs realize the process still has a way to go.

Like his last outing, Miller hung tough before leaving under less-than-ideal circumstances Wednesday.

The end of the game spelled a 4-2 Arizona loss to the New York Yankees and a pitching line that read 5.2 innings, 10 hits, three earned runs and two walks allowed. After a rough first inning where he allowed a two-run shot to Brett Gardner, Miller recovered a bit but received little help from the D-backs’ offense, which mustered just two hits.

“Gave up a lot of hits, made some mistakes,” Miller said to reporters. “Other than that, I mean, we did a good job of eliminating some damage.”

Yet, D-backs manager Chip Hale continues trying to build confidence for the starting pitcher whose ERA sits at 6.64.

With an out in the sixth inning, Hale approached the mound but surprisingly didn’t yank Miller.

Miller followed by allowing an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury with two outs, pushing Chase Headley home and giving New York a 3-1 lead.

“I went out to talk to him and to make sure he knew that was his last hitter. Ellsbury’s numbers against left-handed pitchers are pretty good, granted he’s hit Shelby pretty well,” Hale admitted while pointing out that lefty Andrew Chafin was the D-back warming up in the bullpen. “We had a plan how to pitch him. The pitch; just got the ball up a little bit.”

The exchange between manager and pitcher was far different from Miller’s last start.

Then, Miller’s rough sixth inning turned a 1-0 Arizona lead into a 3-1 deficit that would hold for a final score.

And then, Hale’s visit to the mound amounted to an upset Miller walking off the field before his manager arrived.

Hale made sure to not overstate that interaction — the pitcher was upset having just allowed a home run — and his actions Wednesday only proved how set the D-backs are on continuing to rebuild the confidence of the pitcher they traded for this offseason.

Asked if Hale’s visit to the mound against the Yankees was about building Miller back up, the manager admitted it was part of his decision.

“I think that’s a little bit of it. He’s one of our horses, he’s our number two guy,” Hale said. “For me he earned it, it was his game at that time. He just didn’t execute. But I’d do it again. He’s our guy.”

So does Hale really not second-guess decisions that, in hindsight, change the complexion of a game?

“Of course I do. Yeah. Those are the reasons guys like managers don’t sleep,” Hale said. “Two-fold … we’re trying to give Shelby confidence. You know the matchup (of Ellsbury against a righty) might be better. So yeah, all the decisions that go into a game when you lose is why you don’t sleep.

“I feel good about it. Of course, when it doesn’t work, that’s why I’m losing all my hair and I’m getting really gray.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel flips the rosin bag during the second inning o...
Wills Rice

D-backs avoid sweep with rollercoaster win vs. Tigers in Keuchel’s debut

Dallas Keuchel and the Arizona Diamondbacks secured an 11-7 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday in his debut with the team.
23 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho (12) celebrates his three-run home run against the Detroit Tig...
Arizona Sports

Watch: D-backs’ Daulton Varsho clears pool to cap 5-run inning vs. Tigers

D-backs CF Daulton Varsho sent a 435-foot blast at Chase Field to punctuate a five-run sixth inning Sunday against the Detroit Tigers. 
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers duri...
Alex Weiner

D-backs LHP Dallas Keuchel limits damage during inefficient team debut

Dallas Keuchel took the hill at Chase Field for the first time as a member of the D-backs Sunday and provided 4.1 innings.
2 days ago
Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Ya...
Arizona Sports

D-backs select LHP Dallas Keuchel to big league roster, will start Sunday

The D-backs selected LHP Dallas Keuchel from the Rookie ACL D-backs and the former Cy Young winner will make his first start on Sunday. 
2 days ago
Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson fields a grounder by Arizona Diamondbacks' Josh Roja...
Arizona Sports

Former ASU star Spencer Torkelson ‘trusting the process’ in rookie season

Despite his struggles to start his MLB career, former Sun Devil Spencer Torkelson is positive he will be able to turn things around.
2 days ago
Detroit Tigers' Javier Baez (28) is caught stealing by Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach D...
Alex Weiner

D-backs drop 5th straight with loss to Tigers: ‘These are grinding times’

The Tigers took a 6-3 lead in the sixth inning Saturday night, and the D-backs never got the game-tying run to the plate.
3 days ago
Diamondbacks’ Chip Hale continues putting trust in Shelby Miller