Amid the chaos in the Washington Nationals bullpen, right-handed reliever Justin Miller is repeating his early 2018 success.
The Washington Nationals bullpen has been called all sorts of nasty adjectives over the past week. Pick your favorite out of horrendous, awful, inadequate, unacceptable, defective, and shoddy.
Miller has not been in the voices and tweets of angry Nationals fans, nor has he been in the headlines. In this case, no news is good news.
So far this season, Miller has allowed just two hits and one walk compared to six strikeouts.
In Thursday’s shutout win against the Mets, Miller played a critical role by retiring the red-hot Pete Alonso and Luis Guillorme, setting up Tony Sipp to come in for a lefty-on-lefty date with Robinson Cano.
(Side Note: That Sipp/Cano matchup was already the 3rd meeting between the two this season, and Sipp is two for three. Is this the comeuppance the Mets deserve for continuing to trot out Jerry Blevins against Bryce Harper for the past two seasons? I hope so!)
Ok, back to Miller.
Right now, the Nationals need as many relievers, especially right-handed relievers, to be as competent as possible until Trevor Rosenthal figures out how to throw strikes.
The good news is that Miller has a recent track record of production.
In the first half of last season, Miller posted a .669 opponents OPS allowed. However, Miller was awful after the All-Star Break, and we detailed some of the reasons why he struggled in a previous post.
3.2 innings pitched is too small of a sample to arrive at a logical conclusion. However, if Miller can provide consistent innings until the rest of the bullpen works through their struggles, it will benefit the Nats immensely in the short-term.