With multiple injuries to their starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to a pair of rookies in Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller on the road against the Atlanta Braves.
While Stone had already made his MLB debut earlier in the season, Miller was pitching at the Major League level for the first time in his career. To add even more pressure, Miller was thrown into the fire against a tough lineup, but overall he fared well.
The highly-touted Dodgers prospect pitched five innings while allowing just one run and striking out five hitters to only one walk en route to earning his first career win.
Following the start, Miller expressed how grateful he was to join the Dodgers and help the already-talented, via SportsNet LA:
“First of all I’m very thankful for getting my name called. Especially with a team like this. There’s a lot of superstars on this team. They could’ve called on a lot of other names, but they took me, and I’m really thankful and honored. I had some good defense behind me, too, and made some good pitches as the game went on. … I’m happy the way it ended. Got through five, first win. So I’m really happy about that.”
Although Miller didn’t show it, he battled through nerves, which is to be expected for any player making their debut. But despite the nerves, Miller didn’t let them get the best of him:
“I put on a good poker face. I was really nervous. But yeah, at the end of the day, just focused on my breathing. It’s the same game. I got to keep telling myself that.”
Miller also made sure to give credit to Will Smith for helping him navigate a lineup filled with All-Stars and MVP-caliber players:
“I put all my trust in Will. He’s a great catcher. He called an amazing game and I didn’t shake him off once. He took me to the promised land. Getting the first pitch of the game as an out really helped me settle in.”
Miller was tasked with facing the National League MVP-frontrunner Ronald Acuña Jr. three times in his debut, but only allowed him to reach once via a walk. Acuña grounded out in each of his other two plate appearances, including the first pitch Miller threw at 100 mph:
“Acuña was really hard to get out. Second at-bat threw some sinkers inside to him, he took some really good pitches. I went deep in the count. He’s a really hard hitter to get out. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.”
Miller is set to make at least one more turn in the Dodgers rotation, and the club will be more than thrilled with another outing like the right-hander showed on Tuesday. He is likely set to face the Washington Nationals in his next appearance, which would be at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers told Bobby Miller to ‘just be yourself’
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Miller has all the makings to be successful at the Major League level, and before the highly-touted prospect made his debut, the skipper told him to just stay within himself.
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