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MLB: Looking back at Miles Mikolas in 2018

Mikolas

With today being his last start of the regular season and very possibly last start of the year altogether, it seems appropriate to look back and appreciate the year that Miles Mikolas has had.

Miles Mikolas’ 2018 Season

Spring and Early Season

Mikolas’ season didn’t get off to the best start. It looked like Mozeliak’s cheap fix for the rotation was going to be a bust. During spring training Mikolas got five starts and went 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA and led the squad in hits and runs allowed.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t any better when the regular season got rolling. After his first two starts, both against Milwaukee, Mikolas had an ERA of 6.00. He did pick up his first win as a Cardinal in the first game though, despite actually pitching better in his second.

That would be as bad as it got for Mikolas, though. He may have benefited from the Cardinals’ schedule a little bit, but it clearly gave him the confidence he needed and he began pitching like a Cy Young candidate. Over his next 10 starts, he only allowed more than two runs once, dropping his ERA all the way down to 2.27. One of those starts was a complete game nine-strikeout shutout of the Royals at Busch stadium.

Mid-Season

Gregory Bull/AP

By June, Mikolas had a 6-0 record and a 2.58 ERA. His first start of the month was a good one, too. Unfortunately though, he picked up his first loss despite going 6.0 innings and only allowing one run. All the way through July Mikolas continued his success. He did make a few short starts that hurt his ERA, but he still only allowed more than three runs one time and earned his first ever All-Star selection. Miles didn’t pitch in the All-Star game, though. Instead, he was awaiting the birth of his twin children. By the end of July he boasted an 11-3 record and a 2.83 ERA.

Late Season

Mikolas didn’t miss a beat as the season moved into August. He got the month started with a seven inning performance against Colorado in which he only surrendered one run. Despite pitching well, it was his first of three no-decisions for the month. He did go on to pick up two more wins, though: one against the Marlins and the other against the Brewers. His only loss was to the Pirates. At the end of the month he had improved his record to 13-4 and still held on to a very impressive 2.96 ERA.

So far, in the final month of the season, Mikolas hasn’t lost a game in four starts. He did allow four runs over 6.2 innings in his first start of September, but hasn’t given up more than two runs in a game since. His last outing came against the Giants. In that game he went seven innings, striking out eight and only allowing one run. Heading into his final start today, he has a record of 17-4 and an ERA of 2.94.

Against the Central

Aside from the general success that Mikolas has had, what makes his 2018 numbers even more impressive is how well he’s pitched against his own division. This year, in 15 starts against Central opponents, Mikolas has a record of 8-2 with a 2.85 ERA, 91.2 innings pitched and 72 strikeouts. If it weren’t for Mikolas and his performance against division opponents, the Cardinals likely would have been out of the postseason picture long before the final series.

His Final Start

Mikolas will make his final regular season start of 2018 today in Chicago. He will be squaring off with Cole Hamels in a must win for the Cards, after they dropped yesterday’s game.

Mikolas has three starts against the Cubs this season. In those three starts, he’s 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings pitched. He will be putting not only that perfect record on the line, but also his perfect record away from St. Louis. On the road this season, Mikolas is 9-0 in 15 starts. He’s the guy the Cardinals want on the mound in a must win game, and it will be fun to see how he handles the pressure of the situation.

 

Featured Image by Keith Srakocic/AP

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