Braves' ace doesn't get call, honored just to be at All-Star Game
By Alec Shirkey
In the midst of a breakout campaign in his first year with the Braves, right-hander Shelby Miller had every intention of enjoying his first trip to the 86th All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.
And while Miller did not pitch in the National League's 6-3 loss at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, that did nothing to take away from the 24-year-old's eye-opening first half or his appreciation for the All-Star honors.
"Not at all. If I got in there, cool. If not, cool," Miller said. "There's obviously a lot of great arms here, a lot of guys that are trying to get in there and pitch. If I happen to not get in there, it wasn't a big deal."
The pregame ceremony, which featured a tribute to the four "Greatest Living Players" -- Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Johnny Bench and legendary Braves slugger Hank Aaron -- especially piqued Miller's enthusiasm. Koufax threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Bench.
"That was definitely [cool] to see those four guys out there. That was one of the coolest first pitches you'll probably ever see," Miller said. "The introduction and the whole thing was a first-class setup. Cincinnati did a good job putting it on and I had a lot of fun."
Since being acquired in a trade with the Cardinals, Miller has quickly solidified himself as the de facto ace of Atlanta's rotation. Over 18 outings, the former top prospect has posted a sparkling 2.38 ERA while recording 12 quality starts and a pair of shutouts.
Miller was Atlanta's only representative at this year's All-Star Game.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.