Kevin Millwood will make his final start tonight, and his last as an Oriole. At least, that’s the assumption.
You know what happens when you assume, but there’s virtually no chance that the Orioles attempt to re-sign him over the winter.
Millwood will try to avoid his 17th loss. He’s been his own worst enemy, but the Orioles haven’t exactly rushed to his aid.
These aren’t excuses, just facts:
Millwood receives the second-lowest run support of any pitcher in the American League at 3.28 runs per game. In his last 12 starts, the O’s have scored a total of 29 runs - an average of 2.4 per game - and just 22 runs (1.83 per game) while he was still on the mound.
The Orioles have won two of his last three road starts after winning just one of his first 12. So yes, I’m saying there’s a chance.
Millwood has posted a 3.68 ERA in nine starts since manager Buck Showalter took charge, but he’s 1-5 during that stretch.
Cleanup hitters are batting .229 with eight homers and 22 RBIs against Millwood this season, but No. 9 hitters are batting .320 with two homers and 12 RBIs.
In seven career starts against the Rays, Millwood is 2-3 with a 5.88 over 41 1/3 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in four starts at Tropicana Field covering 24 innings. He hasn’t won in St. Petersburg since Aug. 22, 2005 while pitching for the Indians.
Millwood leads the AL in losses with 16, placing him one ahead of Scott Kazmir and A.J. Burnett. If he leads the league after Oct. 3, he would be the second straight Orioles pitcher to hold that distinction, joining teammate Jeremy Guthrie.
The last four teams to have different pitchers lead the league in losses in consecutive seasons are the 2006-07 Orioles (Rodrigo Lopez and Daniel Cabrera), the 2004-05 Royals (Darrell May and Zack Greinke), the 1997-98 White Sox (James Baldwin and Jaime Navarro) and the 1994-95 Tigers (Tim Belcher and Mike Morgan).
The 1985-87 Mariners are the most recent AL team to have three different pitchers lead the league in losses in consecutive seasons (Matt Young, Mike Morgan and Mike Moore.)