Nothing like getting bashed around Fenway Park to welcome back former Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Wade Miley, now playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
It never quite ever worked out for Miley playing in front of the Fenway faithful. After being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December of 2014, the former 2012 All-Star posted an 11-11 record and a 4.46 ERA in 32 starts. He was then traded out of Boston, along with Jonathan Aro, in the offseason to the Seattle Mariners for Roenis Elias and Carson Smith.
The beginning of this season only got worse for Miley. He went 7-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 starts, before being traded again. This time, the Orioles picked him up at the trade deadline for Ariel Miranda. Miley responded by recording a 1-4 record and a whopping 7.15 ERA in seven starts for Baltimore.
Not exactly the asset that the Orioles were hoping for to sure up an injured starting rotation, especially coming into last night’s game against the Red Sox.
Boston’s bats had been on fire lately, scoring 38 runs in their last five games, including 26 runs in their series win against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre. With that kind of offense, and the Red Sox starting rotation starting to heat up as well, Miley’s homecoming to Fenway Park looked to be a bloodbath waiting to happen for the Orioles.
The onslaught didn’t take long, either.
Boston scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Almost everyone jumped on Miley as soon as he took the mound. The first five Red Sox batters reached safely, with quick jabs before the big body blow. Mookie Betts doubled for the 40th time of the season, scoring Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts, who both previously hit singles. David Ortiz was driven in with Betts by Hanley Ramirez on yet another single. Only by an Aaron Hill grounder allowed Miley to get his first out of the game by a forceout to Ramirez.
By the time that the eighth Red Sox batter Sandy Leon hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Hill on the play, Miley had allowed a five-run lead for Boston in only one frame.
Almost as gluttons for punishment, the Orioles allowed Miley to continue pitching in the second inning. After Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a flyout, Miley was smacked around for two more singles before walking Ortiz to load the bases.
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Mercifully for Orioles fans, but to the dismay of Red Sox Nation, Miley got the hook from his manager instead of a knockout punch from his former teammates. With Vance Worley in relief, Betts grounded to Orioles third baseman Manny Machado who forced out Pedroia at home plate, earning the second out of the inning; however, the missed opportunity for a double play gave Ramirez a chance to cash runners in with the bases still loaded. It may not have been a knockout, but Han-Ram’s RBI walk on five pitches must have been pretty hard for the Orioles fans to swallow.
That last run was charged to Miley, who finished his night with six earned runs on eight hits, a walk, and no strikeouts in just 1.1 innings of work.
With all of the issues that the Red Sox had with their pitching earlier this season, things could have been worse. Yes, Carson Smith was injured and had to have surgery, putting him out for the season. Yes, Elias didn’t quite pan out for Boston, at least not yet. Then again, the Red Sox could have kept Miley, instead of gambling on the notion that Miley was going to become a punching bag for elite MLB hitters.
The earliest that Miley can become a free agent is in 2018, and the backend of his current contract was the heavier end. The Red Sox had to pay him just under $3.7 million, while the Mariners paid part and the Orioles will have to pay the rest of his $19.25 million still owed. Sometimes, trade winners are the ones who let go of worse than they brought onto themselves. The irony being that Miley actually helped the Red Sox increase their supremacy in the American League East division with his performance. It was just in the opposition’s uniform.