“Worst pitch of the year” but Miller’s grit at 161.3, Galen wins ‘big-game pitcher’ as he continues to grow

The next ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers is well on his way.

Bobby Miller, 24, is a fireballer with a fastball that reaches 100 mph. A former first-round pick in the 2020 draft, Miller made his major league debut in May after spending three years in the minors prior to the start of this season. In 45 career minor league appearances, he has pitched 183 innings with a 10-10 record, 3.79 ERA, and 227 strikeouts.

Miller earned the starting job with three consecutive quality starts after earning a win in his debut on May 24 against the high-powered Atlanta Braves, allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five in five innings.

He struggled against the San Francisco Giants on June 18 (seven runs in 5⅔ innings) and the Houston Astros on June 25 (six runs in four innings), but settled down and has been a steady presence in the rotation.

On June 29, Miller started a home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings and picking up the win.

The Dodgers won 7-4.

Miller improved to 8-3 on the season with a 4.00 ERA. He was especially strong in the “big games,” as he won a matchup with Arizona ace Zack Greinke, who is a favorite for the NL Cy Young Award. Galen took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is 14-6 on the season with a 3.32 ERA.

Miller threw 34 of his 86 pitches for strikes, with his fastball topping out at 100.2 mph and averaging 98.9 mph. He threw a mix of changeups (17), curves (16), sliders (14) and sinkers (5).

But Miller said he wasn’t feeling his best on this day. “It wasn’t the best outing I’ve had all year, but I’m glad I battled through it and didn’t give up a run after the fourth inning. Like I always say, I want my relievers to have reserves, I want them to go at least six innings every time they go out there,” he said after the game.

It was catcher Gabriel Moreno who gave Miller trouble. Miller gave up the first run of the game in the second inning on a two-out, two-run double to left field to Moreno for a 3-0 lead, then gave up a two-run double to right-center field to Moreno in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 3-4 after a leadoff single by Luerdes Gurriel Jr. A six-pitch, 98-mph fastball on a 2B2S count went high and away.

But in his third at-bat of the sixth, he threw a 98 mph fastball to his body and got a grounder to third base. After Miller retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings, the Dodgers offense broke through in the bottom of the sixth on a back-to-back two-run double by Jason Heyward and a solo shot by James Outman to make it 6-4. Miller had earned the win.

Manager Dave Roberts said, “He’s learning a lot of things pretty quickly against major league hitters. In good times and bad, he’s been able to get through innings and stay in games late,” said manager Dave Roberts.

Miller had pitched in 16 games this season, 15 of them against different teams. This was the second time Arizona had faced him, having met him on the road on April 10, and it was encouraging to get the win. “If you’re facing their ace and you win, that’s huge,” Hayward said of Miller.안전놀이터

With this kind of grit and confidence, Miller will likely be in the mix for fall ball. According to MLB.com, “Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias and Lance Lynn are the Dodgers’ top three starters heading into October. Miller, with his 100 mph fastball, is right behind them.

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