Lance Lynn seems to be the pitcher St. Louis Cardinals fans love to hate because of his habit of undermining otherwise good performances with one devastating inning.
But Shelby Miller is the guy who really drives me up the wall.
Miller has the talent and the arsenal to a number two starter in the big leagues. But his lack of attention to detail makes his results something more expected from a fourth or fifth starter.
His teammates handed Miller a 4-0 lead in the first inning Sunday night against Pittsburgh and he did everything within his power to give it away.
In the third inning Miller gave up a single and then managed to get the pitcher out. But then he hit a batter with a full count pitch and and walked another to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. Miller left a pitch over the middle of the place and Pedro Alvarez crushed it. Fortunately it went to dead centerfield and the ballpark BARELY held it.
Apparently the lesson of not handing out free passes wasn't learned because Miller walked the lead-off man in the fourth inning and then made a terrible pitch to a low a long, two-run homer to cut his advantage in half.
In the fifth inning he walked the Pirates lead-off hitter.
The ESPN broadcast repeatedly showed catcher Yadier Molina, team ace Adam Wainwright and manager Mike Matheny expressing exasperation at the pitching of Miller. After the second time Molina went out to get in Miller's face Matheny went out there and I was pretty sure he was going to drag the young hurler off the field by the scruff of his neck.
I know he's just a young kid and that he's only in his second season. But Miller, going back to his minor league days has a reputation as a guy who isn't receptive to coach's input. He's going to have increased troubles as opponents get a book on him because Miller counts on his fastball almost exclusively and just shows his other pitches.
Miller shouldn't be too comfortable because someone is going to have to go to make room for Joe Kelly and/or Jaime Garcia when the Cardinals start to get some of their injured hurlers back. And he sure looks like a guy who could use some polish.