Miller gets 3rd save, secures 2021 contract

September 21st, 2020

Not only did lock down the save in St. Louis' 2-1 win over the Pirates in Sunday's series finale, but the Cardinals' reliever also locked down the vesting option that puts him under contract for 2021.

Miller made his 14th appearance of the season Sunday, the minimum number of appearances he needed to return to the Cardinals under contract for next season. The number of appearances needed were prorated because of the shortened season.

Miller, who will turn 36 next year, will make $12 million in 2021.

“I’ve done everything in my control possibly to almost just ignore it and worry about pitching,” Miller said. “If anything, it kind of seemed like everyone else is more aware of it than me, which is the way I wanted it. The goal was just to pitch well, and things would take care of themselves.”

His past two outings have been two of his best this season. In the second game of Friday’s doubleheader sweep, Miller retired the side in the sixth inning against the middle of the Pirates' lineup. On Sunday, holding a one-run lead, Miller got two quick outs and then struck out left-handed hitter Colin Moran swinging on three pitches.

The Cardinals’ past five saves have come from five different relievers. It was Miller’s third save of the season.

“I was pretty happy with that [outing],” Miller said, "and we still have big aspirations to win. That’s my number one thing. I’ve been fortunate enough in this game that the financial situations for me is pretty far back in my mind. In a way, it’s nice to know. In other ways, it’s not going to change the way I do things. Glad to be able to finish off this series well.”

At times, Miller has been inconsistent and struggled with his command -- a big reason for his 4.45 ERA in 2019. But other times, he has been the veteran reliever the Cardinals signed him to be before the '19 season: A high-leverage arm and veteran presence in the bullpen looked to for late-inning outs against hard-hitting lefties. That’s who he and the Cardinals hope he can continue to be this season and next season.