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.
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.”