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Outs over feelings: Shelby Miller

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Shelby Miller rubs the baseball before coming out of the game during the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, May 13, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

I have never had a beer with Shelby Miller. I don’t know the man. There are some athletes that just speak a stream of consciousness after a game and don’t really think about what they’re saying. He may be of this ilk and it’s unfair to take his comments beyond face value.

After almost every start, Miller tells the media how good he felt out there. It’s some version of “other than this mistake or that mistake…”

So far on the season he’s yet to record an out in the seventh inning. He averages slightly above 4.1 innings per start. If you set the minimum standard at 40 total innings pitched, only two pitchers have a worse WHIP, same thing with ERA. Statistically, he’s one of the worst starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. Why does Miller want to make sure fans know how he feels? I’m sure he doesn’t want to know how fans feel when he’s on the mound.

Wednesday night’s loss was not his fault. I don’t expect any pitcher to win a game when the offense supplies two hits. Every player on that team has a job to do and Miller’s performance, theoretically, has nothing to do with their ability to do it. Having said that, you know full well when that guy at work screws something up as soon as your day is starting you that “Here we go again” feeling. It shouldn’t affect your job, but you either think, “We have no chance,” or, “I have to do more.” When trying to hit a round ball with a round bat squarely, either feeling is bad.

Here are the new quotes Miller should mix in after his next start:

– “I’m putting too much pressure on the offense with my poor starts.”

– “I’ve got to give up fewer hits and walks so I can pitch deeper into games. I’m destroying our bullpen.”

– “I wouldn’t say I’m proud of the way I battled back after giving up early runs because that’s my job. I’ll be proud when I put up zeroes early so the guys can relax at the plate because they know I’ve got their back.”

– “I know I’m part of the problem right now but I have the confidence in how hard I’ll work with staff that fans will see positive results soon.”

Shelby Miller did not choose to come here. It’s not his fault if he’s not good enough to reach expectations. It stinks for all of us because the best course of action is to be patient. This isn’t “rock and hard place,” it’s more like being between a “solid brick wall and a boulder” because the other options won’t solve the issue. For Miller to get it right, he needs to face the reality of the situation.

If Miller continues to try to live up to the level of expectations placed on him by the Diamondbacks giving up the farm, he never will. Just pitch and take accountability of the results.

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