Despite strong breaking ball, Miller gives up 3 while falling to -

Despite strong breaking ball, Miller gives up 3 while falling to 0-2

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) —  While Lance Lynn may have the magic touch when it comes to run support, Shelby Miller is Gob Bluth. 

Wednesday’s start saw Miller give up three to the Reds as the Cardinals struggled to cobble together three hits and no runs behind him.

Despite giving up a leadoff triple to Billy Hamilton, Miller looked in control early. After Hamilton’s hit, he retired the next eight batters in order. 

In the second, he threw five curveballs in his first six pitches, cruising through the inning on eight pitches. The Cardinal righty threw the breaker far more in his second start. Of his 92 pitches, 22 of them were curveballs, compared to just 14 in his start in Pittsburgh. 

"I threw some good ones," he said after the game. "I kind of had them off the heater a bit earlier."

Unfortunately, the second inning would be the last time he was routinely ahead of hitters. Of the 28 he faced, Miller only threw nine first pitch strikes that weren’t in play.

Still, he worked out of trouble making pitches when he needed to while keeping the Cardinals in the game.

"He’s better than what the result was overall," said manager Mike Matheny after the game.   

In the fourth, Miller was behind three of the four hitters 1-0. After starting Jay Bruce with a curveball, he threw eight straight fastballs, resulting in a walk, a single and a home run. 

The home run came on a pitch down and away to Devin Mesoraco, which the righty went down and got; pulling the ball 410 feet to left for a home run. 

"It felt like one bad pitch, but it wasn’t really a bad pitch. It was down and away," Miller said at his locker. "He just put good wood on it."

Though he finished with three earned runs in six innings, with the Cardinal offense sputtering behind him, Mesoraco's swing was enough to hand the former Rookie of the Year candidate his second loss. 

It’s a tale of two offenses when Miller and Lynn take the hill. 

In two starts this season, both pitchers have surrendered eight earned runs. Lynn has received 10 runs of support to Miller’s two. 

“Some guys just have a knack for being there in the right place when we get a lot of offensive support,” Matheny said after the Cardinal comeback Tuesday. 

Whether it’s a knack, a chicken bone or blind luck, Miller could use a pinch of it in 2014. He’s now 0-2 to start the year, and is scheduled to face a hot-hitting Milwaukee Brewer’s club next week. 

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