Tigers' Miller pitches hitless inning in big league debut
NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Miller's major league debut was close to flawless, pretty much like his ever-so-brief minor league career.
Detroit's top draft pick pitched a hitless eighth inning as the Tigers lost to the New York Yankees 2-0 in the opener of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader.
"It was a rush. I've got so much adrenaline going, I can't really tell you what I was thinking," Miller said. "My heart is still racing."
Just 21 years old and only three months removed from college ball, the 6-foot-6 left-hander retired Melky Cabrera on a lineout to right, then hit Craig Wilson with a pitch. Johnny Damon hit into a forceout, and Derek Jeter grounded out.
Miller's parents, who live in Gainsville, Fla., were on hand.
"It was pretty cool," he said. "At Yankee Stadium, with all the history and everything. It's such an awesome place."
He was taken with the sixth pick of the draft in June, and helped North Carolina reach the championship round of the College World Series, where the Tar Heels lost to Oregon State.
After signing with the Tigers on Aug. 4, he pitched three times at Class-A Lakeland, striking out nine in five innings with one walk and two hits allowed.
After Damon's forceout, Detroit manager Jim Leyland visited him on the mound.
"I thought he had himself together. When I went out to talk to him, he rattled off the signs right away." Leyland said. "I thought he handled himself well. I sure like what I saw."
Miller's 17-pitch outing against the Yankees impressed Damon.
"He's going to be around for a while," Damon said.
Detroit had Miller get loose in the bullpen in the fifth inning.
"When I warmed up the first time, I was throwing everything with everything I had, and that wasn't working out too well for me," he said. "The next time, I concentrated on slowing everything down, throwing everything at 60 to 70 percent. I don't think I was actually doing that, but mentally that's basically what I was thinking."
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