(BaseballStL) -- It wasn't a great start from Shelby Miller. It wasn't an awful start for him. It just was and unfortunately, it wasn't enough to obtain the win for the Cardinals.
When Miller left Saturday's game, the Cardinals had a 5-1 lead, by the end of the afternoon however, a ninth inning malfunction resulted in a 6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Miller exited having thrown just 5.1 innings and 107 pitches. And by the end of the sixth inning his lead had dwindled down to one run after Seth Maness gave up a three-run home run, Miller was tagged for two of those runs.
The 107 pitch outing was the longest of the season for Miller. His career high in pitches in 113.
"Thought he was good," said manager Mike Matheny, "Obviously, we'd like to get him deeper. He worked pretty hard."
Miller made the defensive play of the game in the fourth inning with runners on first and third and only one out. Marlins starter Andrew Heaney laid down the bunt, but Miller made an athletic play, shoveling the ball while diving toward home plate as Yadier Molina successfully tagged out the runner trying to score.
"Runners on first and third, he's probably laying down the bunt," Miller explained, "I'm always the kind of guy thinking of not letting the run score at home. I was trying to make that play. Yadie was there and made a great tag."
But despite the outstanding defensive play, Miller's outing didn't meet the standard of a quality start. He reached 90 pitches by the end of the fifth inning before throwing another 17 pitches through a third of an inning in the sixth before being lifted for Maness.
"I wasn't out there thinking I could hit every spot," he said, "I was kind of grinding it out there."
Matheny continued to praise how well Miller's secondary pitches are coming along, not just his fastball, saying his curveball continues to get better with each start.