In MLB, there’s outstanding starting pitching and then there’s a level above where the starting pitching absolutely carries a team. Through the first 70 games of the 2013 season, the St. Louis Cardinals have, without question, been on that second level when it comes to their rotation.
The Cardinals have enjoyed the re-emergence of Adam Wainwright as an ace in this league as he’s currently 10-3 with a 2.18 ERA and 1.01 WHIP through his first 14 starts. Lance Lynn, who has a 9-1 record with a 3.56 ERA, has continued the success that he had last season for St. Louis.
However, the biggest surprise in the Cardinals rotation has been the 22-year-old Shelby Miller. The young hurler made his 14th start of his first full season in the majors on Monday night against the Chicago Cubs and continued to look brilliant. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning with leg cramps, but not before throwing five innings where he allowed just two hits, two walks and no earned runs while striking out five.
Miller got his eighth win of the season on Monday, bringing his overall record to 8-4. He also leads the three regulars in St. Louis’ rotation in ERA (2.08) and WHIP (0.96), and has a fantastic 10.01 K/9 and a solid 1.98 BB/9.
The young righty had pitched in just six big league games prior to this season and had made just one start. Even at his extremely young age, though, it’s abundantly clear that he’s ready to make a name for himself in the league. If he continues to pitch like this going forward, the Cardinals are going to be a difficult team to overtake in the National League Central and in the postseason.