SEATTLE -- Ariel Miranda "was as sharp as he's been in a while" on Friday, according to Mariners manager Scott Servais, although the left-hander's line didn't represent that.Miranda allowed four runs on five hits in six innings in the Mariners' 7-5 loss to the Mets, but he set a career-high
SEATTLE -- Ariel Miranda "was as sharp as he's been in a while" on Friday, according to Mariners manager Scott Servais, although the left-hander's line didn't represent that.
Miranda allowed four runs on five hits in six innings in the Mariners' 7-5 loss to the Mets, but he set a career-high with 10 strikeouts while only walking one batter in a no-decision.
His lights-out stuff was overshadowed by mistakes.
Miranda surrendered two home runs, a two-run shot from Jay Bruce in the first and a solo homer from Michael Conforto in the third, which constituted the majority of the Mets' damage against him. Both homers came on fastballs left in the middle of the plate.
"The first one ran a little bit over the plate," Miranda said. "The second was a good pitch that he connected well on."
Aside from that, Friday's outing was an indication Miranda's stuff, from a swing-and-miss standpoint, is improving as the season has progressed.
After striking out 8.27 batters per nine innings in his first eight starts, that number dipped to 6.11 over his next 13 outings.
The development of his slider as an effective out-pitch has helped his strikeout numbers climb. He's thrown it less than he did last year (26.3 percent in 2016 compared to 24.1 percent this year), but it's missing more bats when he does throw it, producing whiffs on 17.6 percent of offerings this season, compared to 12.1 last season.
On Friday, Miranda threw his slider 24 times, 10 for strikes (seven swinging). Nine of his 10 strikeouts were obtained with his slider.
Miranda's is taking the positives out of the game, most notably the 10 strikeouts and settling in after allowing three runs in the first three innings.
"It's not a bad start, obviously," Miranda said. "They made some solid contact there, but I was able to make the adjustments and get deeper in the game to help the team that way."
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.