Miller's debut for Cardinals a complete success

Miller's debut for Cardinals a complete success

Miller's debut for Cardinals a complete success
ST. LOUIS -- For all the attention Shelby Miller's arrival had garnered on Tuesday, it was Wednesday's events that everyone had been waiting to see.

Touted as one of the most talented pitchers to rise through the Cardinals' farm system in years, Miller made his much-anticipated debut in Wednesday's 6-2 loss to the Mets. It went as well as Miller could have scripted it. In two scoreless innings, Miller allowed one single and struck out four.

"This is obviously a moment to remember," Miller said. "It was really nerve-wracking. Once I settled in, it went a lot smoother."

Miller's first out was a bit controversial, as it took all four umpires huddling before the crew ruled that catcher Tony Cruz made the catch on a foul pop near the screen behind home plate. Miller then closed out the sixth with a groundout and a strikeout, getting Mike Baxter to swing through a 94-mph fastball.

Miller struck out the side in the seventh, with the string interrupted only by Daniel Murphy's one-out single.

"I'm happy for Shelby," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a nice way to break into the league. It was a good test for him. Any test your first day in the big leagues is tough. He did a nice job, did everything we asked."

Facing Major League hitters wasn't the only first for Miller on Wednesday. He also made his first appearance out of the bullpen -- aside from Spring Training and the Futures Game -- since being taken as the 19th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Miller said the most challenging aspect of the change in roles came in the timing of his warmup. He estimated that he threw about 20-25 warmup pitches -- the same number he would throw before a start -- and also had the benefit of coming in at the start of an inning.

"Having a little more time [to warm up] probably made me more comfortable out there," Miller said. "You can't really always expect to have that much time going in. That's one thing that I'll have to get used to. At the same time, I think things went really smoothly, and I think I'm going to have a better feel in the future."