When Kevin Millwood was traded to the Orioles in December, he joined the club with 155 career wins to his credit.
Despite pitching well in five starts so far where he has kept his team in the game, he doesn’t have a single win yet this year.
He is 0-3, 3.38 in 32 innings. But he doesn’t sound the least bit discouraged by his personal record at this point.
“There is really not much you can do about it. Any time I pitch, I try to give us a chance to win and that’s all you can do. I figure if I keep pitching the way I have been, I’ll get my share of wins.
“I’m throwing the ball pretty well. The only thing I wish is I could stay in there longer. Last night was a good example. I wanted to stay out longer and take pressure off the bullpen. But I’ve thrown the ball close to the way I threw the ball last year.”
In 2009 with Texas, Millwood went 13-10, 3.67 and was 8th in the league in ERA. He averaged 6.4 innings per start then and is averaging 6.4 now.
“Right now I’m in shape to throw, I don’t want to put a number on it, but I can go past 115 (pitches).”
One key reason the O’s like Millwood, beside his ability to pitch well, is the example he can and is setting for the younger pitchers on the staff.
It’s always at least in the back of his mind that pitchers like Matusz, Hernandez and Bergesen look to him for some leadership.
“Of course it is. I can’t come out of a game with 90 or 95 pitches when I am trying to set an example of what it takes to win in this league. You need to show these guys that even through a bad inning you can stay out there, keep the bullpen out of it and give your team a chance.
“All these guys want to stay out there. It’s a fun group to work with. The starters have done a great job. With three young guys, to pitch the way we have collectively is impressive.”
Millwood’s first five starts:
2009: 2-2, 2.13 in 38 innings
2010: 0-3, 3.38 in 32 innings
Pitches thrown in his first five starts:
2009: 113, 112, 111, 116, 121
2010: 100, 95, 115, 112, 112
Later today: Check back here throughout tonight’s game as I join Roch with in-game blogs and post-game coverage of tonight’s O’s-Yankees game.
Coming tomorrow: More with Millwood, this time how the atmosphere in the O’s clubhouse compares with other teams he has played with.
Bowie trip too: Also on Thursday, I’ll be at the Bowie Baysox game scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. to watch Koji Uehara and Zach Britton pitch with in-game and post-game coverage from Prince Georges Stadium.