Miller leaves Colorado start early with back spasms, not expected to miss any time

DERRICK STUCKLY BROWNWOOD BULLETIN derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com
Shelby Miller

Former Brownwood Lion Shelby Miller left his start Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies with back spasms, but the 2009 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals is expected to make his next start.

Miller lasted just 2.2 innings in the 10-5 road -loss to the Rockies before backs spasms forced his early exit. In his brief time on the mound, Miller yielded three earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and five walks.

“Whenever anybody comes out of a game, you’re concerned, but this looks like one that maybe we’ll be able to head off at the pass,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told the Associated Press. “They seemed to be pretty confident that he would have a good chance to be ready to go for his next start.”

The Cardinals are currently without starting pitchers Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) and Jamie Garcia (left shoulder inflammation), who are both on the disabled list.

Last season, Miller came as close to perfection as possible in Major League Baseball, retiring the final 27 batters in order after surrendering a leadoff single in a 3-0 victory over Colorado in St. Louis on May 10.

Thus far in 2014, Miller — who finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting — owns a 7-6 record with a 3.75 ERA, 66 strikeouts and 46 walks in 93.2 innings. Opponents are batting .246 against Miller, who has made 16 starts this season.

Miller has recorded two victories each this season against Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, which one coming against Toronto in a three-hit shutout — his best outing of the 2014 campaign. Since recording five straight wins from April 25 through May 17, Miller has notched only one victory over his last seven starts with four losses and a pair of no decisions.

The defending National League champion Cardinals own a 43-36 record following Wednesday afternoon’s 9-6 win against Colorado, and are 4.5 games behind NL Central leader Milwaukee (48-32).