|Wade Miller: The Pitcher That Made Milwaukee Famous|
|First, there was JR Richard and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then a few years later, there was Mark Portugal and the San Francisco Giants. And currently, we have Wade Miller and the Milwaukee Brewers. In each case, an Astros starting pitcher has mustered up as if from a witch's cauldron an almost uncanny mastery of a particular opponent.|
As I write, in January of 2004, Miller's career record vs. the Brewers stands at 10 - 1, with a 2.52 ERA. He did not win either of his starts vs. the Brewers in 2003, but he pitched 7 innings in both non-decisions, while giving up three earned runs over the 14 innings.
JR Richard was 14 - 4 against the Dodgers with a 1.72 in 23 games, and Mark Portugal was 11 - 3 against the Giants with a 2.21 in 18 games, so you can see that while perhaps Miller's ERA has maybe not been quite as good vs. the Brewers as those other Astro pitchers may have been vs. their personal whipping clubs, the won loss percentage kind of takes up the slack. But Miller, unlike Richard and Portugal, also has not pitched a complete game shutout against his favorite victims. Richard pitched an amazing five complete game shutouts vs. the Dodgers, including a one-hitter on April 19 of 1980, and Portugal, in his last start for the Astros vs. the Giants, on September 21, 1993, notched one for himself. But Miller will have another chance to extend his dominance, or even notch the shutout, fairly soon. With the signing of Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens, it is likely that Miller will start the fourth game of the 2004 campaign on the road against--you guessed it--the Milwaukee Brewers.
|1997 Best Quad City |
River Bandits # 19
|2001 MLB Showdown|
Pennant Run # 21
|2002 Upper Deck Return of the Ace # RA7|
|2002 Leaf Certified Mirror Red # 55||2003 Topps Gold # 258|
|Miller also can be mentioned in the same breath with Portugal for another reason: On September 21, 2002, Miller posted a victory at St. Louis. It was his twelfth straight decision without a loss, and with it he tied Mark Portugal's club record, originally posted between July 11 and October 2, 1993. Portugal's streak included the aforementioned CG SHO of the Giants. . .|
Again, as I write, Miller is also one of only 26 active pitchers, minimum 60 decisions, with a .600+ winning percentage. Three of the other 25 will be pitching alongside him in 2004, as the Astros, with Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens, and Miller, have become the first NL team since the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers to employ four .600+ WP guys in the same starting rotation. My guess is that Miller, one of the more complete young packages this side of Oswalt, with his two and four-seamers, and his excellent slider, reaches 100 wins maintaining that same high percentage. . . .
|2003 Leaf Certified Emerald|
Autographs # 73 (# 4/5)