Memories in tow, Miley ready for second half
CHICAGO -- Odd as it may seem, Wade Miley just wanted to get the All-Star Game over with.
The D-backs' rookie was excited for the experience and eager to take it all in, but Miley has maintained that he's more focused on the team's goals than any personal achievements.
"I'm ready to put that behind me and get back to this, our team goal," Miley said. "I'm just excited to get after it."
Even so, Miley said he made memories he'll never forget. Most memorable of his time in Kansas City, Miley said, was his jog in from the bullpen for a ninth-inning appearance.
"I had chills running down by whole body," Miley said.
Miley faced two hitters, allowing a hit to Twins catcher Joe Mauer and getting Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus to ground into a fielder's choice.
Miley, the lone D-backs representative in the game, said he also had the chance to get to know the other All-Stars and pick their brains a bit. He stayed busy with events such as the Home Run Derby, media sessions, the All-Star parade and more.
"It was a lot to take in," Miley said. "Being my first one, I kind of wanted to do everything. It was little tiring and mentally draining. It takes a lot out of it, but it was well worth it."
While getting in the game was most memorable aspect for Miley, it was a memory made with a childhood hero that might be the most special. When Miley exited the game and headed back to the NL dugout, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones -- who has announced that this will be his final year in the majors -- was waiting with a handshake.
"On the top step was one of my favorite players growing up," Miley said. "The first person's hand I shook when I came off was Chipper Jones. That's something I'll always have with me. It was special."
Miley isn’t pitching during the D-backs' series in Chicago, as manager Kirk Gibson wanted to get him a little extra rest. It's Miley's first full season in the majors, and he threw 100 2/3 innings in the first half en route to a 9-5 record with a 3.04 ERA.
Despite the increased workload and pressure of the majors, Miley said he's not feeling any mental or physical fatigue. Even with all the activities in Kansas City, he still had the chance to get a little extra sleep.
"I feel fine," Miley said. "Whatever they want to throw me out there for, I'm more than happy to go out and do the best I can."