(BaseballStL) — Following Lance Lynn’s sterling start Tuesday night, the Yankees exacted vengeance on Shelby Miller Wednesday.
The St. Louis hurler fought his way through nine hits and seven runs to turn in five innings, sparing extended work for the bullpen, but it was a gruesome outing.
“He came out of the gate looking pretty good. He was getting some low strikes called and it looked like it might be one of those days where he would establish the bottom of the zone and get some chases up,” said Mike Matheny after the game. “The third inning hit and they were just on everything, you just didn’t see a lot of bad swings no matter what we threw up there. Their timing was right on and it went on for a couple innings and the damage was done.”
New York struck hard in the third, getting a one-out walk from Brett Gardner then rattling off two singles for a run. An intentional walk to Brian McCann followed, then another two-run single from backup catcher John Ryan Murphy.
Miller said after the game his command was strong, and didn’t feel like the onslaught was due to any particular mistake pitches.
“Me and Yadi were both thinking curveball to Murphy right there and threw a decent curveball we thought. It just didn’t go our way,” he said at his locker. Ichiro Suzuki would beat out a double play ball for another run, and the Yankees took a 4-0 lead into the fourth.
More trouble followed in the next New York half, as the Bronx Boys piled on three more runs. Miller gave up a leadoff single but retired the next two hitters with ease, and appeared to be headed toward a scoreless frame.
Then, a double and two singles pushed the Yankee lead to seven an a flash.
“I really don’t have a good explanation for it,” Matheny said, unable to decipher what gave New York hitters such a boost. “Just one of those nights where everything seemed to be right where they were putting the bat.”
Four of the hits Miller surrendered on the night were in the first two pitches of the at-bat, and several more eventual outs began with first-pitch balls in play or foul offs. New York appeared to have the 23-year-old figured out, and had runners on in every inning but the fifth.
Miller felt like his initial offerings were good ones, but the Yankee hitters seemed one step ahead of him.
“The pitches aren’t bad, and they’re first pitch. It’s not like when I got two strikes on a guy and I’m trying to throw it down in the dirt and I miss in the strike zone,” he said. “I’m trying to throw a strike because it’s 0-0. Those aren’t bad pitches, they’re just good hitters.”
With the loss, the Cardinals dropped to 29-24. Wednesday’s start clearly stung Miller, but the young righty didn’t seem to have regrets on his execution- something that may help him rebound quickly.
“I feel like that 0-0 breaker to Murphy was not a bad pitch at all, he scores two runs off of that, First pitch breaking ball to Ellsbury, you know it was down and in and two runs off of that,” he said. “That’s just how weird this game is.”