Tyson Miller sprints to take flight towards the start of the season
CHICAGO – “Gate C9 is closing, it’s your last call to board a flight to Chicago, doors are closing.”
That’s when Tyson Miller realized he might not be making his season debut with the Rangers on Friday.
After waking up in Las Vegas at 6 a.m. after the Triple-A Round Rock three-game game against the Las Vegas Aviators, Miller was on his way to Tacoma, Wash., with the team. The right-handed pitcher was scheduled to start Saturday’s game.
But suddenly, just before departure, Miller was told he had to stay.
“I was told not to get on the flight while we were boarding because there was a chance I would. [come to Chicago]“said Miller.
It would officially mark the craziest day of the 26-year-old’s life.
As Miller headed for his 10:10 a.m. flight to Chicago, his ticket was not scanned. The plane was going to Chicago, so he knew he was in the right place. Then he checked his ticket one more time and knew he was in trouble.
“They said, ‘That’s the wrong flight,'” Miller said. “Then when I looked at him, [two flights] left at 10:10 a.m. I had to go from B17 to C9.
If you’ve ever been to the Las Vegas airport, you know the distance between these two points is a hike. So Miller channeled his inner Emmitt Smith and sprinted through the airport, dripping with sweat as the gate agent made the final boarding calls.
“I started my conditioning pretty early,” joked Miller. “I was in a sweat, the last of the flight and there were two minutes left. They’re calling my name at the top.
His sprint paid off. Miller boarded the 4.5-hour flight to Chicago and arrived at Guaranteed Rate Field at 6:30 p.m. Despite the long flight, he was still set to make his season debut. He stretched, ate a granola bar — the only thing he ate all day — and headed to the bullpen in the first inning, picking up his Rangers jersey.
Miller — who was filling in for COVID after Mitch Garver and starter Glenn Otto went on the injured list on Friday — was called up in the fourth inning to do the heavy lifting for the Rangers bullpen.
Having been scheduled to start for Round Rock on Saturday, his arm was ready. Thus, Miller went 2 1/3 innings, giving up only one unearned run on a hit and two walks.
“It was what I expected,” said manager Chris Woodward. “We were trying to get everything we could out of him. The fact that he got through those few innings really helped and saved us, and honestly gave us a chance to win the game. He doesn’t have a ton of major league experience, but he looked like he was throwing. I thought he did well. »
Miller was a fourth-round pick by the Cubs in 2016. He has only played two games for them in 2020, one start and one relief appearance. Rangers finally claimed the right-hander’s waivers on June 4, 2021.
Friday was the team’s first opportunity to see who Miller was in the big leagues.
After Miller pitched 2 1/3 innings, he was happy with his performance and the opportunity he had to make his season debut. It was a hectic day for the pitcher, who was in Vegas, nearly missed his flight and had a solid outing – all on a simple granola bar.
“I was looking forward to this day,” said the right-hander. “I’m glad it went pretty well for the day I had. I’m just going through it [without food].”