Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 29th draft pick and number one pitching prospect, Bobby Miller, debuted against the Atlanta Braves.
He faced Ronald Acuna Jr. on his first at-bat as a major leaguer and started him off with an inside 100.1 MPH four-seam fastball.
It took just one pitch to settle down the first-start jitters as Acuña grounded out to Muncy for a routine ground ball.
“I put on a good poker face,” explains Bobby Miller after the game.
“I was really nervous. But yeah, at the end of the day, [I] just focused on my breathing. It’s the same game. I got to keep telling myself that.”
Miller began the game with a 1-run lead after Mookie Betts scored on a single off Will Smith. Following consecutive ground ball outs to Acuña and Olson, Miller allowed a single to Sean Murphy. In the subsequent at-bat, Austin Riley hit a double, bringing in the runner and tying the game.
After surrendering the first run of his career, Miller settled down and delivered five solid innings, allowing only one run, giving up four hits, and striking out five.
He secured his first major league win on a debut performance against one of the National League’s top teams.
“First of all, I’m very thankful for getting my name called,” Miller modestly explains to Kiersten Watson after the game.
“Especially with a team like this. There are a lot of superstars on this team. They could have called on a whole lot of other names, but they took me, and I’m really thankful and honored.”
During his postgame interview, Miller spoke with a humble Midwest undertone which contrasts with his on-mound character. When pitching on the mound, Miller is electrifying, allowing his emotions to come out after every out, and his intimidating stare-down adds to his presence. His mound demeanor brings the kind of energy that the Dodgers’ pitching staff has been lacking since Walker Buehler’s absence.
With an organization renowned for its ability to draft and develop talent, the Dodgers have no choice but to rely on Bobby Miller to replace their injured starting pitchers. His performance against a heavyweight champ like the Braves demonstrated that he is prepared to an impart in the Majors. While his fastball reaches an impressive 100 MPH, there’s room for improvement.
The 24-year-old displayed composure on the mound during his first start. Miller began the season in camp nursing an injury, which delayed his first start of the year. Miller made his first start in April. His appearance with the Dodgers marked his 5th start of the year. Coming into his debut, Miller came in with a 5.65 ERA.
Miller’s minor league numbers did not matter. He fearlessly stared down one of the National League’s best offensive teams in the batter’s eye without flinching while pitching himself to his first win as a major leaguer.
After the game, manager Dave Roberts confirmed Miller will make at least one more start in the rotation.
Syndergaard continues to pitch himself out of the rotation. Going with a 6-man rotation once Kershaw returns from the bereavement list allows the Dodgers to continue the development of their prospects while giving their other starters an extra rest day.
Bobby Miller pitched himself onto the starting rotation. Allow him to continue dominating the Majors, even if he gets roughed up a few times. It’s all part of the developing experience.
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