Shelby Miller got the win, but he only lasted five innings. Most pitchers would be frustrated over such an outing despite the win, and Miller is no different. Fortunately, the reason behind Miller's early exit, while technically injury-related, seems minor.
According to Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com, Miller exited after making it through five innings because he began to experience leg cramping. Part of Miller's issue could have come from the fact that he forced himself to work harder than he probably needed to. Miller let his pitch count climb rapidly, and eventually the cramping forced him from the game. The exertion and the cramping are probably related, but we can't know for sure.
The Cardinals, one of the best teams in baseball, have been inconsistent of late. They beat the Chicago Cubs last night, but the team has allowed the Reds to gain ground in the National League Central. St. Louis still holds a 2 1/2 game lead in the Central, and their win last night put them at 6-4 in their last 10 games, so maybe there's not much to be concerned with there.
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Miller has been a big part of why the Cardinals have been successful this season. He is 8-4 with a 2.08 ERA this season. This appears to be his breakout year. In last night's game, Miller allowed two hits, struck out five, and did not allow the Cubs to score. It was an impressive outing despite the high pitch count and early exit. The Cardinals will be in good shape this season if Miller can keep on this pace.
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