By now it’s widely accepted that a starting pitcher’s win-loss record does not necessarily correlate with his effectiveness because so many factors are out of his control including run support, defense and luck.
Still, the record goes next to a pitcher’s name and Braves All-Star Shelby Miller is 5-10 as he prepares to start against the Rockies on Wednesday. Miller’s streak of 17 starts without a win does not reflect how well he’s pitched, but it’s still the reality.
It’s a topic that has become redundant for Miller but he said it’s not weighing him down.
“This is a team sport,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, if I know every single guy coming in here are working our tails off to try to get a win, if I lose the game, it’s all right; and if we lose the game in general, it’s all right. Because we’ve done everything we can. As far as personal stats, wins are great but at the same time that’s something I try to shy away from.”
Miller last earned a win on May 17 at the Marlins. In that game he allowed no hits through 8 2/3 innings and settled for a two-hit shutout.
Miller has posted a 3.11 ERA in the 17 starts since then. He pitched at least seven innings six times while allowing more than one earned run in just one of those starts. Miller allowed no hits through seven innings last week against the Diamondbacks.
And yet Miller still can’t earn a win, and the Braves are 3-14 during that stretch.
Miller’s 17-game streak without a win is the longest for any All-Star pitcher in the year selected (Nolan Ryan went 13 in a row for the Astros in 1983). Since the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, Carl Morton (1976) is the only other Braves pitcher to go 17 consecutive starts without a win.
The Braves acquired Miller in a trade with the Cardinals last November and he’s been their staff ace. But after pitching in three consecutive postseasons for the Cardinals, Miller almost certainly won’t be in the playoffs with the Braves.
“It’s fun and once you’ve done it, it makes you that much more hungry for it,” Miller said. “It’s a great feeling. Baseball in October is as good as it gets. That’s what we play for.
“Every single guy in this clubhouse knows that and knows that’s our goal. That’s what we are all trying to do. We haven’t had the best season but at the same time we are finishing strong and doing what we need to do.”
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