Miley gives D-backs a doubleheader sweep
PHOENIX -- Wade Miley was determined to go deep in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader to help his bullpen, and he made sure manager Kirk Gibson knew it. After pitching his seventh scoreless inning, Miley gave Gibson the OK sign as he entered the dugout, and also managed to mention that he would have an extra day of rest before his next start.
Gibson did not need any convincing. Miley went back out, struck out the side, and turned the ninth inning over to J.J Putz in a 3-0 victory and a day/night sweep of Miami in the first doubleheader in Chase Field history.
"I knew our bullpen … was a little tired down there. I wanted to go as deep as I could and give those guys as much rest as possible," Miley said. "I want to go nine every time out. It was important to stay in there and get early outs and keep the pitch count down."
Miley tied a career high by going eight innings, and he gave up only four singles. Only one -- Jose Reyes' hard liner through the middle in the fourth inning -- was hit particularly hard. He picked a runner off, got a double-play grounder, and after the Marlins opened the seventh with an infield single and a looping single over first base, retired the next three routinely to preserve a 3-0 lead built on RBI singles by Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and Chris Johnson in a two-run fourth, which included a run-scoring passed ball.
"When you have guys on base, you have the adrenalin going," said Miley, now 14-6 and becoming a clearer and clearer favorite for the NL Rookie of the Year award.
Miley made it easy on the D-backs' bullpen, and his approach makes it easy on everyone around him, most specifically his catcher. He throws what is called, and for the most part he puts it where it is desired. He works so quickly that catcher Wil Nieves said Miami batters were calling timeout just go get some time to breathe at the plate.
"He trusts 'Miggy' (Miguel Montero). He trusts Henry (Blanco). He trusts me. So whatever we put down, he'll throw it. And the good thing, he's not worried what it's going to be. He worries about hitting the spot and throwing the pitch with conviction," said Nieves, who has caught Miley's last two starts, both victories.
"That's when pitches are successful, when they are not double-guessing and thinking if it is the right pitch. We just attacked. This is a good hitting team, but if you are ahead in the count you are going to be successful, and that's what he did. He'll pitch. He likes to pitch, and our tempo was real good."
Miley followed fellow rookie Tyler Skaggs to give the D-backs a glimpse of what the future might look like. Skaggs won his major league debut in the first game, 3-2, while giving up three hits.
"They did a hell of a job, that's what they did. Wade was outstanding, obviously," Gibson said.
As disappointed as Gibson was after the D-backs (64-61) failed to hold a five-run lead in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Marlins on Tuesday, they will enter Thursday's off day 5 ½ games behind NL West leader San Francisco and four games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
"It was the most disappointed I have been. It hurt," Gibson admitted about Tuesday's defeat.
"You go home and you regroup. We've been through it several times. You just keep grinding it out. You know the formula. It's hard sometimes to execute the formula. That's just baseball."
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