For Diamondbacks’ starter Wade Miley, the fearful came true and in a rather frightening way.
Despite being one of the top National League pitchers during July, Miley opened August with a resounding thud.
Last month, Miley was 4-1, one no-decision and 2.45 ERA. In hopes of turning a dreadful opening three months of the season in his direction, Miley commenced August with a fire-shower of home runs, wild pitches and leaving pitches over the plate.
The end result was an alarming 12-2 defeat to the Kansas City Royals before 16,677, the smallest crowd of the season in Chase Field.
For what this is worth, the 12 runs scored represents a season-high for the Royals. Their 15 hits fall short of the season mark of 17 set on June 16 at Detroit. As well, the 12 runs allowed by the Diamondbacks tied a season-high set on April 4 against the Rockies.
For his effort of allowing nine hits and a career-high 10 runs, all earned, Miley had no excuses.
“Everything I threw was in the middle of the plate and up here, you can’t do that,” he said. “It really sucks and it’s on me. Look, this happened in the past, it happened (Tuesday night) and it will happen in the future. Just accept it and move on to the next start.”
Plagued by the home run ball most of the season, Miley had allowed 18, prior to Tuesday night, and was tied for fourth with Wily Peralta of the Brewers for home runs allowed among National League pitchers. That figure quickly jumped to 20 when Miley surrendered a pair of three-run homers to each catcher Salvador Perez in the third and first baseman Billy Butler in the fifth.
For the evening, Miley gave up nine hits, 10 runs, all earned, walked three, tossed two wild pitches and that added up one dreadful night. With his 10-run effort, Miley’s ERA rose from 4.14 at the start to 4.61 now and his record fell to 7-8 in 24 starts.
“Not a very good night, all around,” was the observation from manager Kirk Gibson. “It’s a game we would like to quickly forget.”
The odd element about this one is that Diamondbacks got to Royals’ starter Danny Duffy and an early lead. In the first inning, Mark Trumbo’s single off the left field fence drove in Jordan Pacheco, who doubled with one out.
Then, the meteor shower of home runs and no place to hide.
In a very forgettable fifth inning, Miley retired the first hitter but singles from Omar Infante and Perez put runners on the first and third. Butler then crushed a fast ball into the left-field bleachers for his sixth home run of the season and Miley allowed another run to score in a botched run-down in which Alex Gordon crossed the plate.
After Miley apparently struck out opposing pitcher Danny Duffy to end the inning, Duffy reached base when Miguel Montero could not handle Miley’s slider. At that point, Gibson pulled the hook.
“In the fifth inning alone, Wade threw 31 pitches,” Gibson pointed out. “That was enough for him. But, when they had opportunities and guys on base, they hit it out of the park.”
After Miley’s departure, Bo Schultz came in with the bases loaded and two outs. Schultz’s first pitch to right-fielder Nori Aoki was deposited over the right field fence, just inside the foul pole for his first home run of the season, and first career grand slam.
End of one the most forgettable nights at Chase Field in a long time.
AFFIX THE BLINDERS
Coming into play Tuesday night, the Royals were in second place in American League Central and four and one-half games behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers.
With the calendar now in August and days left in the season dwindling, Royals’ manager Ned Yost said he’s not concerned with the Tigers or any other team, for that matter.
“Nah, I don’t watch the scoreboard,” he said before Tuesday night’s game with the Diamondbacks. “I’m only concerned with what we do. If you win, everything else takes care of itself.”
For the record, the Royals have six games left with the Tigers.
That includes three at Detroit Sept. 8-10 and three in Kansas City Sept. 19-20. The Tigers series at home represents the final three home games of the season for Kansas City. The Royals end the season with six on the road, including three in Cleveland and then three with the White Sox in Chicago.