Dodgers News: Bobby Miller Surprised Zach McKinstry Was Upset With Hit By Pitch

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Bobby Miller turned in another strong start for the Los Angeles Dodgers despite taking a loss against the Detroit Tigers in the series finale, and it also came with a bit of drama.

In the third inning, Miller hit Zach McKinstry with a fastball that sailed up and in. McKinstry was hit in his shoulder, which led to the two exchanging some choice words. Miller downplayed the incident after the game, but stressed he isn’t looking to help hitters settle in and relax during their at-bats.

“I don’t know,” Miller answered when asked about the brief confrontation. “He tried telling me that was twice I missed inside on a pitch and hit him.

“Obviously that wasn’t on purpose, but I’m not here to make him feel comfortable in the box.”

The hit by pitch loaded the bases as it came after a single by Carson Kelly and a walk to Matt Vierling. Miller said he wasn’t rattled by the sequence of events and it was just the result of some mistakes.

“I felt fine after that,” Miller said. “I fell deep into counts, but some ambush on some heaters. I can’t do anything about that. Just got to lean on the front to back velocity stuff and just let that stuff go.”

Miller and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts have discussed the need for the rookie to control his emotions better on the mound, and that inning provided a great example of why that’s important as he was able to escape the jam with just one run allowed.

“It was thankfully just one run in that inning, but I’ve still got to make better pitches,” Miller said. “Some deep breaths and just calm myself down.”

Roberts said he was watching closely to see how Miller would react after loading the bases and having words with McKinstry, a former Dodgers prospect.

“I watch all of our guys, but certainly Bobby maybe a little bit more than others,” Roberts said. “He handled it great.”

Despite running his pitch count up early, Miller ended up pitching six innings, giving up just two runs on three hits while striking out seven and walking one. Roberts credited the outing to Miller’s maturation as a pitcher.

“To not have your best stuff but still go deeper into a game, when the first two innings it was 40 pitches or something like that,” Roberts said.

“There was stress, and to be able to find a way to get pitch count back, manage emotions, there was a little something with McKinstry, and to kind of settle back in and make a pitch when he needed to, just shows continued growth.

“Like I said his last turn, it just seems like every start there’s always something he’s getting better at and learning from. That’s all you can ask.”

Bobby Miller starting NLDS game at Dodger Stadium

When the Dodgers begin postseason play, Miller is going to be an important part of their plans. After starting the season in the Minors, Miller is expected to take the ball in one of the first two playoff games.

Along with Miller, Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn are likely to make up the other two spots in the rotation. The Dodgers may then turn to a bullpen game if they decide to utilize a fourth starter to limit the potential innings of Kershaw in each series.

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