Mills gave up five earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out one over 2.2 innings in a 6-5 extra-inning win over the Cardinals on Sunday. He did not factor into the decision. Mills made his first start of the year and was pummeled by three home runs, which chased him from the game in the third inning. The 30-year-old low-leverage middle reliever had come into the game with an 8.59 ERA, so expectations were very low. The Cubs managed to claw back and win the game in extra innings, but their chances of winning won't be very good if they have to depend on Mills to start games. Despite a plethora of injuries to Cubs starters Marcus Stroman (shoulder), Drew Smyly (oblique) and Wade Miley (shoulder), Mills will likely return to his role as a bullpen innings-eater after his poor performance.
Mills will start Sunday's game against the Cardinals. All five of Mills' outings in the big leagues this year have come out of the bullpen, but he'll make his first start of the campaign. The right-hander last pitched Monday in long relief and surrendered five runs over 4.1 innings, so he's fairly well stretched out. He's given up 14 earned runs on 21 hits with a 9:2 K:BB across 14.2 frames this season, so Sunday's outing may only be a spot start.
Mills allowed five runs on eight hits across 4.1 innings of relief during Monday's loss to the Pirates. He had no walks and struck out two. Chicago starter Caleb Kilian allowed seven runs (five earned) across 2.1 innings to take the loss, but Mills didn't fare much better. The veteran righty now has an unsightly 8.59 ERA this season, and he won't have much fantasy value as long as he's out of the rotation and pitching poorly. Mills started 20 games for the Cubs in 2021 but all five of his appearances so far this year have come in relief.
Mills (0-1) allowed the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning Friday to take the loss against the Yankees. He retired two batters and also allowed a hit and an intentional walk. With a runner starting the inning on second base, Mills got off to a strong start with two quick outs. The Cubs then decided to intentionally walk Aaron Hicks, but Jose Trevino delivered the winning run on a sharp single to left field. This was just the second appearance of the season for Mills, who was sidelined with a back strain in April. The righty could start games at some point, as he made 31 starts for the Cubs over the past two years, but so far he's worked as a reliever.
Mills allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six in five innings of a 9-3 loss Tuesday in Baltimore. He did not factor into the decision. Mills entered the game in the fourth inning with the Cubs trailing 7-1 and pitched well in his first appearance of the season. The veteran gave up solo homers in the fifth and sixth inning but otherwise was effective. He will likely appear in relief for the time being but is a candidate to move to the rotation should there be an injury or a demotion.
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