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


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, left, congratulates Christian Walker, right, who crosses home pl...
Associated Press

D-backs’ Christian Walker drives in 4 runs in win over Rockies

Christian Walker had four hits and drove in four runs, leading rookie Tommy Henry and the D-backs over the Rockies 7-4 Sunday.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks batter Jake McCarthy, left, congratulates Daulton Varsho (12) after Varsho's i...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks match last season’s win total with shutout victory over Rockies

The Diamondbacks notched win No. 52 Saturday night, matching last year's win total with more than a month remaining on the season.
2 days ago
Emmanuel Rivera #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a third inning solo home r...
Sam Graveline

D-backs’ Emmanuel Rivera hits 2 home runs in win over Colorado

Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is fitting right in with his new team, blasting two early home runs on Saturday.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chris Devenski works against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth ...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks drop series opener in Colorado to Rockies

The Arizona Diamondbacks only managed five hits in a loss on the road against the Colorado Rockies.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
4 days ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
5 days ago
Diamondbacks’ Chip Hale continues putting trust in Shelby Miller