EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 7, 2014

Strikeout machine Miller has gained value in time with Sox

BOSTON — Andrew Miller has posted a 2.84 ERA in 104.2 innings of relief for the Boston Red Sox since the start of the 2012 season, but his career ERA still is an inflated 5.13.

That just goes to show how poorly he pitched before arriving in Boston and being converted into a full-time relief pitcher during his second year here.

While the Red Sox lost again yesterday, falling 7-6 in 12 innings to the Baltimore Orioles here at Fenway Park, Miller pitched yet another scoreless inning.

You’ve probably heard Miller’s story. The southpaw had a dominant college career at UNC and was selected sixth overall by Detroit in the 2006 draft. But the Tigers rushed him through their system and Miller struggled with the command of his pitches once he arrived in the big leagues. He began giving up a ton of walks and a ton of runs. He fell quickly from potential Detroit Tigers ace to a first-round bust.

He then struggled with his control during three years with the Marlins before ending up with Boston where he has thrived and has enjoyed baseball and life.

“My wife (Katie) and I have had a really good time here,” Miller told The Eagle-Tribune this past weekend. “I love living near the ballpark. And compared to where else I’ve been there’s nowhere more fun to win than Boston.

“I’ve seen quite the roller coaster ride here,” he added. “I’ve been here for a World Series winning team, a team that missed the playoffs on the last day of the season, the Bobby V (Bobby Valentine) year where it seemed like anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Right now, hopefully, we can make this another unique year and turn this one around.”

But time is beginning to run out for the Red Sox who with yesterday’s loss dropped to 10 games below .500 (39-49) and nine games behind first-place Baltimore.

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