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COL@STL: Miller on his complete game win vs. Rockies

Would it be greedy to ask for an encore?

At the rate Shelby Miller has been climbing the ladder, it might not be all that surprising.

Miller takes the mound against the Mets on Wednesday following one of the most impressive performances by a rookie in Major League history, as he allowed a leadoff hit to Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. and retired the next 27 straight batters, becoming just the third freshman to allow one hit and strike out 13 or more in a complete-game victory.

"This was definitely the best game I've ever thrown," Miller said. "This was a start I'll remember for the rest of my life."

"Just an unbelievable display of pitching," manager Mike Matheny said. "He had pinpoint control, he was hitting his spots. He had a feel for everything. It was pretty incredible."

The only problem for the Cardinals now is that Miller's outstanding performances could make it difficult to remove him from games in the early innings. And after throwing 113 pitches in his last outing, the 22-year-old has thrown 736 pitches this season, tied for 41st in the National League with 37-year-old Tim Hudson and 26-year-old Jon Niese.

With 45 2/3 innings this year, Miller is on pace to pitch almost 200 innings, assuming he makes 30 starts. He pitched just 150 1/3 innings between two levels last season, and just 86 2/3 innings the year before.

But at least for Wednesday's game, Miller, who is second in the NL with a 1.58 ERA, will not have a pitch-count limit.

"We're not going in with a restriction on Shelby," Matheny said. "We'll just watch how he goes about it and see what it looks like."

The Mets counter with Shaun Marcum, who was supposed to be one of the saviors of the pitching staff when he returned in late April, but has instead picked up three losses in four appearances.

"I think that Shaun tried to hurry through his rehab and tried to get up here because he knew we needed help," manager Terry Collins said. "We've just got to run him out there again."

The 31-year-old battled a variety of ailments as he worked his way back to form. Through 14 2/3 innings, opponents are hitting .400 off him.

"I feel good," Marcum said. "The thing is, I'm just not making pitches. When you don't throw 95 [mph], the balls up in the zone are going to get hit. The main thing I've got to get back to is locating the ball down in the zone."

Cardinals: Beltran finally bests his former team

Since leaving the Mets, a team he spent parts of seven seasons with from 2005-11, Carlos Beltran has been stymied by his former colleagues.

The 36-year-old entered Tuesday's game 2-for-25 against the Mets since his departure. With one powerful swing on a high-and-tight fastball in the bottom of the fifth inning, Beltran launched a three-run homer into Big Mac Land in the upper parts of left field as put the game out of reach and changed his fortunes against his old squad.

Beltran finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs, raising his season average to .303.

Mets: Setback for Wheeler

As Dillon Gee was knocked around for six runs in four innings and Robert Carson allowed four more in two innings of work out of the bullpen, the Mets' team ERA was bumped to 4.58, worst in the National League.

The silver lining: The idea that one day the rotation could be anchored by Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, the eighth-ranked prospect in the Majors, according to MLB.com.

Wheeler, who was expected to join the big league squad at some point this season, left Triple-A Las Vegas to travel to New York, where he'll be examined by doctors after complaining of a sore right clavicle.

Mets assistant general manager John Ricco isn't too worried, though.

"I think we're being a little bit conservative, given who it is," Ricco said.

Worth noting

• The Cardinals, whose rotation leads the Majors with a 2.35 ERA, have added a dynamic offense to the equation in May, when they have the best batting average in baseball at .306.

• Harvey is on the cover of this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, with the headline, "The Dark Knight of Gotham." Harvey is the first Mets player since Johan Santana in 2008 to appear on the cover.

• Justin Turner made his 14th career start at shortstop Tuesday and didn't make an error, though he appeared to dive over a ball hit by Pete Kozma in the third inning that resulted in a run. Turner was taking the spot Ruben Tejada, who is hitting .229 this season.

• Scott Atchison was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his throwing elbow, but an MRI revealed no structural damage. Right-hander Collin McHugh was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his spot.

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