CINCINNATI -- Shelby Miller was cruising along on Friday night -- until he let off the gas pedal.
Miller tallied eight strikeouts and allowed only one harmless single through the first four innings against the Reds. Staked to a 12-0 lead in the fifth, he relaxed on the mound. Now he knows he shouldn't have.
"It was my own fault, just kind of letting off the gas pedal," Miller said. "Figuring I already had this game, I was going to go deep into the game. I already had it figured out and I stopped executing pitches."
Miller served up a three-run homer to Joey Votto in the sixth and ended up exiting the game before he could record an out in the frame. As a result, the Cardinals' bullpen had to cover the final four innings.
"I lost focus, I guess, something you shouldn't do as a starter," Miller said. "That could've gone completely different. The way it ended, it shouldn't have. You can look at my stats for [the game] -- it's nothing like how I performed."
For Miller, it proved to be a lesson learned. Such is life for a 22-year-old pitcher with only 22 big league starts under his belt.
"You're just constantly learning," said manager Mike Matheny. "We have to keep reminding ourselves how young a lot of these guys are and Shelby is absolutely one of those in that group."