“Last year was fun,” Miley said. “The adrenaline got to me way faster than I thought it would. It’s not that I wasn’t ready. I just didn’t understand what it was going to be like. Even in 2012, when I came out, I was the long guy, so I always got a clean inning. They would bring someone else to finish the inning off, and then I knew I would have the next inning. Last year against Tampa, I was just sitting down there watching the game, enjoying the game and the next thing you know I’m jogging out to the mound. I was borderline freaking out. I felt like I was loose. The adrenaline was pumping. Once I settled in and threw that first inning, it was back to normal, but it was definitely different and exciting. I think I’ll be more prepared for that now.”
The Reds signed Miley to a two-year, $15 million contract in December, expecting him to join Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Mahle in one of the National League’s best rotations.
Bauer (4-4, 1.80 ERA) has been the team’s ace and is a contender for the Cy Young Award. Castillo (4-5, 2.86) has pitched as well as anyone in the league in September.
DeSclafani (1-2, 7.04) has struggled in seven starts. Mahle (2-2, 3.57) has fared well in nine starts.
Tejay Antone (0-3, 2.94) has started four games for the Reds, and Michael Lorenzen (2-1, 4.45) joined the rotation in recent weeks and pitched well in two starts.
Even without Miley, Reds starters have the third-best ERA (3.49) in the National League. Now he’ll help a bullpen that ranks 12th in the National League (4.45) but has pitched better this month.
Miley said he will do whatever manager David Bell needs as the Reds prepare for a weekend series on the road against the Minnesota Twins. The three games will help decide whether or not the Reds make the playoffs. The Reds entered a series finale Wednesday against the Brewers as one of six National League teams fighting for four remaining playoff spots in the expanded postseason.
“These are must-win games,” Miley said. “We’ve got to play good ball. I’m just going to go out there and pitch and not put too much pressure on myself. I’m not a power guy. I pitch to contact. I’ve got to execute and get as many outs as they need.”