Wade Miley’s career numbers against the Toronto Blue Jays heading into Monday weren’t good: 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in five starts.
Miley’s career numbers at Camden Yards heading into Monday weren’t good: 1-3 with a 9.95 ERA in five career starts.
Miley’s numbers this season as an Oriole weren’t good heading into Monday night: 1-2 with an 8.18 ERA in five starts since his July 31 trade from Seattle.
So let’s just say the expectations weren’t particularly high when Miley picked up the ball in the first inning Monday night.
Given all that, the left-hander acquitted himself well against an exceptionally dangerous offense. He allowed three runs on five hits – including two solo homers — in seven innings. He walked two and struck out nine.
“I felt like I got into a good rhythm at times out there,” Miley said. “(Orioles catcher Matt Wieters) did a good job. We were on the same page for the most part. He kind of knew where I wanted to go for the most part and he went there.”
Miley had 107 pitches through six innings, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter sent the veteran out for another frame. He responded by getting three outs on five pitches.
“He’s got a lot of confidence in us,” Miley said of Showalter. “That’s a good feeling as a starting pitcher, as any pitcher, for him to run you out there and show he has confidence in you.”
Truth is, Showalter doesn’t have much of a choice at this point. It’s almost September. Miley is the club’s only lefty starter and the Orioles traded for him to help stabilize the rotation for the stretch run.
Miley had just one solid start in his first four with the Orioles. But he limited the Washington Nationals to two runs in five innings last week and followed that with his strong outing Monday. He was just outpitched by Toronto’s Marco Estrada, who limited the Orioles to four hits and one run – on a J.J. Hardy homer – in seven innings.
“Wade was good. Mixed in a lot of different looks and gave us a good chance. A good seventh inning to get one more inning out of him,” Showalter said. “He gave us a real, good chance to win the game. We just didn’t do much against Estrada.”
The important thing is Miley seems to be trending in the right direction. He’s faced two good offenses in his last two outings and allowed five runs in 12 innings (3.75 ERA).
With the Orioles’ offense, that should be adequate to keep his team in games.
Now he has to keep doing it consistently.
Gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz, a Yankees fan?
There was a cool moment during Monday’s game when former Arnold resident and Broadneck High graduate Matthew Centrowitz Jr., threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was later shown on the video screen.
As Centrowitz waved to the crowd and held up his Olympic gold medal – this month he became the first U.S. male runner to win the 1500-meter event since 1908 – the crowd rose to its feet to give him a standing ovation.
It was a really cool moment for a local kid who said he came to plenty of games at Camden Yards as a kid.
Although he did sheepishly tell the media Monday that he actually was raised to be a New York Yankees fan – and the Orioles were second for him.
“My parents grew up in New York, so I kind of was raised as a Yankees fan. Don’t hold it against me,” he laughed. “I was born and raised in Maryland, so I kind of tried taking that path that way, but my dad didn’t really allow it in the household.”
I didn’t have the heart to ask him if he ever wore a Don Mattingly or Mark Teixeira jersey to Camden Yards. Some things are better left unknown.
McFarland stays in organization
When the Orioles announced that they had designated T.J. McFarland for assignment Sunday, it seemed a bit strange. That’s because McFarland still had minor league options remaining.
Then Monday they announced the lefty had been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. And, in case you were wondering, he is still on the 40-man roster and a candidate to re-join the club’s expanded big-league roster in September.
If you’re confused, that’s OK. It’s one of those weird, procedural baseball things. To put it as simply as possible, because McFarland had been on the 40-man roster for three years, he had to be put through optional waivers this time when he was taken off the 25-man.
No one touches a player on optional waivers – it’s sort of a gentleman’s agreement – so the Orioles never feared they would lose him.
They just needed to go through the proper procedure. They have now. McFarland is still with the organization. Nothing to see here.