Dodgers Confident Bobby Miller Will Improve With ‘Experience’

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The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to four games with an 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros despite Bobby Miller enduring a second consecutive rocky outing.

The right-hander allowed six runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings of work, which came on the heels of Miller giving up a career-high seven runs against the San Francisco Giants in his previous start.

“He’s still a young Major League pitcher, so these are things you don’t get better at unless you keep getting experience with,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “He’s going to be better for it, and I think there’s still a lot of good to take away from this outing. He’ll learn from it.”

After holding the Astros to one run in four innings, things unraveled for Miller in the fifth. The inning started with a base hit, walk and bunt single that loaded the bases.

Miller then allowed a grand slam to Alex Bregman that gave Houston a 5-3 lead. The 24-year-old followed that with a walk, double and RBI single before Roberts came with the hook.

Miller was picked up by the Dodgers bullpen as Yency Almonte, Ryan Brasier, Phil Bickford and Evan Phillips combined to give up just one run over five innings.

That allowed the Dodgers offense to slowly chip away at their deficit. After James Outman hit a game-tying RBI ground-rule double in the eighth, Jonny DeLuca scored what held as the game-winning run following Ryne Stanek being called for a balk on a full count and with two outs.

“This is a situation where I thought the bullpen came in and really threw the heck out of the baseball,” Roberts began. “Bobby was really good early, and after that (Jose) Altuve bunt, I think emotions started to get high and he was a little frustrated by that play, which was a good baseball play by Altuve.

“Then the bullpen comes in, and I thought they threw the baseball extremely well. I thought that run Brasier gave up, it’s a pop-up to first base and Freddie (Freeman) lost it in the sun or something. Aside from that, everybody threw the baseball really well.”

Roberts also believes the pitch clock played a role in Miller’s struggles against the Astros. “Absolutely,” Roberts said. “Again, you’ve got to learn from that and be able to slow the game down, relative to the clock. But still, he’s doing a lot of good things for us.”

Bobby Miller downplays pitch clock being factor

Miller acknowledged the Astros’ big fifth inning led to some frustration that sped up his tempo, but denied the pitch clock being a factor in his struggles.

“No, no. The pitch clock, I’m used to that. The pitch clock doesn’t speed up on me,” he explained. “Mentally, I was fine. Just got to bounce back, scratch that. I’ll be back next start and I’m going to be a lot better.”

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