Dodgers Rookie Bobby Miller Was ‘Really Locked In’ For Braves Start

With the Los Angeles Dodgers facing the prospect of being swept in a four-game series and Bobby Miller starting against the Atlanta Braves for a second time in his young career, the intensity and focus were both heightened for the Sunday afternoon matchup at Dodger Stadium.

Miller matched Charlie Morton zero for zero until the Dodgers managed to provide him with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Miller remained on the mound to get through seven innings for the first time at the Major League level.

“We really needed this win. I was really locked in,” Miller said. “I had a great feeling going into this game. Probably the most locked in I’ve ever been so far. I knew I needed my best stuff.

“Still, I don’t think the breaking balls were that great but luckily I had the changeup to keep them off the fastball a little bit.”

When Miller had last pitched against the Braves, it was at Truist Park and for his MLB debut on May 23. The Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks are the only clubs he faced more than once this year.

The 24-year-old not only had added motivation because of the Dodgers’ struggles in the series but also for personal reasons.

“It’s my second time facing them, so that’s a big goal for me, to dominate a team the second time,” Miller explained.

He quieted a potent Braves lineup throughout the afternoon, including a stretch of 16 consecutive batters retired. The string was snapped when Matt Olson hit a two-out solo home run in the seventh inning.

But rather than allow that to moment to lead to spiraling and more trouble, which has occurred for Miller in the past, he retired the next batter faced to keep the Dodgers ahead at 2-1.

Although the Dodgers rookie also allowed just one run to the Braves in his debut, the outing was viewed much differently than the dominant performance authored a second time around.

“The last time I faced them, only one run, but it really wasn’t that efficient,” Miller recalled. “It was 80-something pitches, 85 maybe, 90. I don’t remember. But it was a lot of pitches through five (innings).

“Especially after an extra-innings game, I want to be as efficient as possible and go as long into the game as I can.”

Will Bobby Miller start for Dodgers in postseason?

The Dodgers figure to start their 2023 MLB postseason run in the National League Division Series, which because of a scheduling quirk that calls for multiple off days, the team conceivably would only need three starting pitchers.

Miller has seemingly earned a spot in the postseason rotation, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stopped short of confirming as much.

“We’re continuing to gather information but he’s put himself right there in the front of the conversation as far as starting a playoff game,” Roberts said. “And he’s earning it.”

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