(BaseballStL) -- One pitch to Red Sox leadoff hitter Daniel Nava and it was 1-0 Boston. Not the way Shelby Miller's Grapefruit League debut was supposed to go today.
Good thing that wasn't the end of his outing.
Miller retired eight straight batters after that, striking out five, and he ended up having a flat out dominant performance when all was said and done.
"Physically I felt amazing out there," Miller said. "Granted it's still early on (in spring training) and your arm still has to build up (stamina) but I felt really good. I felt my fastball was coming out of my hand good."
It was his curveball that impressed Mike Matheny. The manager said he hadn't seen a breaking pitch from his youngster in the past and thinks it could be a major weapon in the future.
For Miller, he wants to forget last year's disappointment of not pitching in the postseason and focus on having a great 2014. His goal is to surpass 200 innings, hopefully more, and consistently save the bullpen by going deep into games.
He also knows if he doesn't do his job there are others just as capable who would be more than happy to replace him.
"Am I more comfortable knowing I have a better chance of making the team? Ya, but at the same time nothing is guaranteed here, especially with all the young guys we have. My job is to do well enough to win and pitch well enough to keep my spot," Miller said.