Miller steps in admirably for Foltynewicz
Rookie right-hander missed his start Monday with a fever and viral symptoms
ATLANTA -- Shelby Miller arrived at Turner Field around 2:30 p.m. ET on Monday and learned he was just a few hours away from making a start in place of Mike Foltynewicz, who had reported to the stadium with a fever.
Unfortunately, this odd turn of events simply led to Miller being reintroduced to yet another frustrating result that has become all too familiar this year. The Braves right-hander surrendered one run over seven innings on short notice, but his effort was not enough to prevent his winless streak from reaching 19 starts in this 4-0 loss to the Marlins.
"I've never seen anything like it to tell you the truth," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Miller's winless streak. "The more I've seen this, the more I believe forget about the wins and losses for a starting pitcher."
Though his scheduled start was pushed up one day, Miller was pitching on normal rest. The lone mistake he made came courtesy of a curveball that Cole Gillespie hit over the left field wall in the second inning. But as recent history has shown, one run can often be enough to doom Atlanta's ace.
Miller has gone 0-11 with a 3.13 ERA during his 19-start winless streak that dates back to May 23. Twelve times during this span, the All-Star hurler has allowed two earned runs or less.
Unfortunately, the Braves have provided two runs or less of support in all but five of those 19 games. And to make matters worse, Monday marked the ninth time during this span that the Braves provided zero runs of support.
Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell recently gave Miller a book that stresses the importance to place the value of specific performances over some of the archaic stats that are still utilized, like a pitcher's won-loss record.
Alex Wood, Julio Teheran and Matt Wisler have all been credited with five wins for the Braves dating back to the start of Miller's winless streak. Wood went 5-4 with a 3.36 ERA in the 12 starts he made for Atlanta within this span. Teheran has gone 5-6 with a 4.95 ERA and Wisler has gone 5-5 with a 5.22 ERA.
The Braves were already planning to use an array of pitchers for Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Marlins. Now, it appears they may have to do the same on Tuesday night, with Manny Banuelos getting the start, but only being allowed to throw between 50-55 pitches.
Foltynewicz, who might be able to return to start on Wednesday, has collected two wins while posting a 5.85 ERA since Miller was last credited with a victory.
"You want to put up great stats and you want to be the best you can be, but at the end of the day, it's all about going out there and competing," Miller said. "The stats are a benefit on the side."