ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Former Brownwood Lion Shelby Miller made his Major League Baseball debut in near flawless fashion Wednesday afternoon, pitching two scoreless innings of relief in the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-2 home loss to the New York Mets.
Miller, the 2009 first-round draft pick of the Cardinals, worked the sixth and seventh innings and allowed just one hit while striking out four batters. Of Miller's 29 pitches, 21 were strikes.
"This is obviously a moment to remember," Miller said in an article published on the Cardinals' official website. "It was really nerve-wracking. Once I settled in, it went a lot smoother."
Miller retired the side in order in the sixth, with the final out being a strikeout by Mike Baxter on a 94 mile per hour fastball.
"Having a little more time [to warm up] probably made me more comfortable out there," Miller said. "You can't really always expect to have that much time going in. That's one thing that I'll have to get used to. At the same time, I think things went really smoothly, and I think I'm going to have a better feel in the future."
In the seventh inning, Miller surrendered a one-out single to Daniel Murphy, but recorded all three outs on strikeouts before leaving the field to a standing ovation.
"I'm happy for Shelby," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a nice way to break into the league. It was a good test for him. Any test your first day in the big leagues is tough. He did a nice job, did everything we asked."
Miller's first game with St. Louis came Tuesday, but he was not called out of the bullpen. The former Lion was called up from Triple-A Memphis after the Redbirds completed their regular season Monday.
Though Miller posted an 11-10 overall record with a 4.74 ERA, 160 strikeouts and 50 walks over 27 starts and 136.2 innings of work this season, his last 10 starts earned his spot on the Cardinals' 40-man roster. During that span, Miller compiled a 7-2 record with a 2.88 ERA, 70 strikeouts, seven walks and limited opponents to a .217 batting average.