OAKLAND -- A day after Shelby Miller lasted a career-low 1 2/3 innings in a start against the A's, manager Mike Matheny confirmed that Miller will make his next scheduled start on Wednesday.
With an off-day coming on Monday and with Joe Kelly poised to join the rotation next week, the Cardinals had the flexibility to push Miller's start back two days and move Kelly up to pitch in his place. Instead, the Cardinals saw value in keeping Miller on schedule and giving him as quick an opportunity as possible to erase the taste of Friday's outing.
"We still like what we've got set up," Matheny said. "If you start pushing them back too far, even after a tough one like that, they don't want the extra day. They want to get back out there. Obviously, going less than two innings, he's going to be plenty fresh."
After a mostly uninhibited two months in the rotation, Miller has run into some trouble in June. He has allowed four or more runs in three of his last four outings after not giving up more than three in any of his first 13 starts. Miller pinned the recent troubles mostly on fastball command, adding that he does not feel fatigue setting in as he continues through his first full season in the Majors.
"I feel strong out there," Miller said. "It's just that I'm not executing with fastball command at all. They're right down the middle, the ones that they're hitting. I'm falling behind in the count. They're not even low strikes. It's an easy pitch to hit right there. It seems like the past two games, I've been throwing it exactly where they want to hit it. It's frustrating. I just have to figure some things out throughout this week."
"We all knew that all of our young guys would end up going through some bumps," said Matheny. "It's just a matter of whether they can fix them quickly or else it takes a little longer for them to learn whatever lesson they need to learn. These guys [in this league] make adjustments and don't let you get away with many mistakes. It's a great learning opportunity for Shelby. We hate to fall short on a win, but last night was one of those tough ones that he just had to fight through and now he has to work hard to get back to where he was."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.