Miley limits the walks - and piles up innings - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Miley limits the walks — and piles up innings

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Orioles lefty Wade Miley said he’s not worried about walks – though he led the American League in that category heading into Thursday night’s 7-5 victory against the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.

What the veteran wants to do is pitch deep into games. That, he said, is always his primary goal. And that’s what he did Thursday, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings in his first victory since April 14.

“I’m not overly concerned about the walks. Obviously, I don’t want to walk people,” said Miley, whose season ERA is now an impressive 2.82 in 11 starts. “But, at the same time, if I had walked seven guys tonight and got to the seventh inning, whatever. You know? You want to minimize them, but at the same time I was just trying to get as deep in the game as possible.”

Naturally, though, when you walk a lot of guys you inevitably end up throwing a lot of pitches, which limits the potential to pitch deep.

Maybe it’s the chicken and the egg theory of pitching. Miley is Exhibit A.

In Miley’s previous four outings, he walked four, threw 119 pitches and lasted five innings; he walked four, threw 109 pitches and lasted five innings; he walked one, threw 107 pitches and lasted seven innings; and he walked three, threw 100 pitches and lasted five innings.

On Thursday, he walked one, threw 109 pitches and lasted seven innings.

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So, in the two times he walked one or fewer he went seven full innings.

The formula is simple. When Miley is attacking the zone, allowing his defenders to make plays and working fast – like he always does – good things happen.

Right now, Miley has been one of the Orioles’ biggest surprises. He only has two wins so far this year, but that’s OK with him.

“If I win, we win as a team, but at the same time, I just want to win ballgames,” Miley said. “We’re looking to get into the postseason, make a run at these things, and it doesn’t matter who gets the W as long as we get it.”

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 2, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I think last night’s success is directly related to the new look of a neatly trimmed beard and ‘stache. Look sharp, pitch sharp.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 2, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Thank goodness he’s not wearing a gold chain.

  2. bigdaddydk

    June 2, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Limiting walks is a major key to the pitching staff’s success. I haven’t looked for any statistical comparison yet, but I suspect that we’d find the O’s staff allowing a disproportionately high number of runs to score that got on base via walks. You can occasionally navigate the minefield, like Gausman did on Wednesday, and get away with some walks. Miley has done similar in some other outings, but he doesn’t allow a lot of hits (less than 1 per inning). Your odds of winning are greatly increased by not allowing base runners, and the odds of an out are much higher when you put the ball in play than when you take ball 4.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 2, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Furthermore the rotation had walked among the most in AL and had among fewest innings in AL. Walks not only create baserunners, but elevate pitch counts. They ain’t your friends.

      • bigdaddydk

        June 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Got that right. I suspect that a disproportionate percentage of the O’s runs allowed by starters (maybe even bullpen) are runners that got on via walks. Good point on the pitch count too. Pitches taken outside of the strike zone and the incredible number of fouled off pitches (how many did KC foul off in that series?) drive pitch counts up in a hurry. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen O’s pitchers with 8, 9, 10 pitch ABs against them and how many have resulted in BBs or hits.

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