Talk about a misleading headline. The MLB.com video reads:
Marquis outduels Miller to top Cards.
That’s just short of libel, for few things could be further from the truth. Besides the “win and loss” stat, the use of which we’ve been assured from a local professional journalist is not done anymore, we can’t find anything meaningful in which the former Cardinal righty “outduled” the current and future Cardinal righty:
In reality, the duel wasn’t close to even a draw: Miller outpitched Marquis.
And looking at that batters-faced number belies the dig that Rick Hummel makes when he writes that “Miller needs to try to find a way to economize. After throwing a one-hit shutout May 10, Miller hasn’t made it through six innings in his next [sic] two starts.”
That’s a bit unfair, since when Miller leaves the game is ultimately his manager’s decision. For example, in his previous start, he struck out two batters in the six inning before Mike Matheny pulled him. Matheny probably has good reason, such as wanting to reduce the stress on his young starter. But it turns out that Miller is actually already the team’s most economical starter — he faces the fewest batters per inning of the entire rotation:
|2||Adam Wainwright||9||64 2/3||253||7.2||28.1||3.91|
|3||John Gast||2||11 1/3||46||5.7||23.0||4.06|
|5||Jaime Garcia||9||55 1/3||234||6.1||26.0||4.23|
One final point about Miller: According to Jennifer Langosch, Matheny “said (last) Wednesday’s game marked the first time in which he saw legitimate reason for concern” about Miller’s ability to prevent runners from stealing. Although keeping runners from stealing is a good idea, we prefer that Matheny let Miller continue to focus on preventing them from reaching base in the first place. But how much do stolen bases matter, anyway? In Monday’s game, the Padres went 1-for-1 in SBs. But the runner failed to score or otherwise hurt Miller. On the other hand, the Cardinals went 0-for-1 in SBs; Ty Wigginton BooBed himself, more than offsetting the positive WPA gain he had made by reaching via walk. Perhaps the Cardinals should worry more about preventing their own “running game” before worrying about that of Miller’s opponents.