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Shelby Miller has lived up to his hype.
|G (GS) ||W-L ||IP ||ERA ||H ||R ||ER ||BB ||K ||HR ||BAA
| 7 (7) || 5-2 || 45.2 || 1.58 || 29 || 10 || 8 || 11 || 51 || 3 || .179
When Arizona's Adam Eaton went down with an elbow injury in spring training, Shelby Miller became my pick for NL Rookie of the Year for two reasons. First, and most obvious, he had a job coming out of spring training. Playing time is kind of a big deal when handing out awards.
Second, Miller's combination of power, mound presence and command was ready to play in the big leagues.
It is safe to say that after just one month, Miller has exceeded even the most optimistic projections. He had a streak of four straight starts when he struck out at least six hitters. He has thrown six innings or more in four of his six starts.
While I don't expect Miller to have a 3.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio all season, his stuff is good enough to average at least one punchout per inning, and he stays in the zone enough to force hitters to put the ball in play.
Of course, I say that, then Miller goes out and throws what I like to call a one-hit perfect game against Colorado on Friday night. He gave up a leadoff single to Eric Young then retired the next 27 batters, striking out 13 of them.
It was as dominant as any rookie has been in a single game this season, and yet it didn't feel completely out of character with what we have seen from Miller in the previous six starts.
The Cardinals have a rash of hard-throwing right-handers in the high levels of the minors or recently promoted to the big leagues (Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez), but Miller is going to be the best of the bunch.